Children’s books of poetry aren’t the rarest thing in the world – in fact, they’re quite common. And quite good. The same goes for children’s picture books with accompanying story-told-in-rhyme. But most of these are, quite frankly, horrifying. The reason is because unlike books of serious poetry, authors think they can get away with shoddy meter and inept rhymes because, after all, the book is only for children!
Randy’s Dandy Lions, I am happy to say, was a departure from this horrifying trend and, far from being painful to read, was actually entirely comedic and delightful. The truth is, I didn’t want it to end.
Randy’s Dandy Lions features as its protagonists five mighty lions who travel about with a circus but who are so struck by stage fright every time they find themselves in the spotlight that they are too scared to perform and sit in a fright until they are led out again to their cage. Finally the stage manager decides that something must be done. But no one was actually prepared for what would happen when that ‘something’ was finally done…
The illustrations of the lions, first nervous, then relaxed, happy, frightened, and roaring were priceless. Kudos to Bill Peet for creating such a variety of expression.
Conclusion. Quite funny – I’m pleased to have this book as part of my collection.
Review © 2015 Laura Verret