If I had to pick a favorite picture book at gunpoint (and I wouldn’t be able to do it and be shot because of my indecisiveness!) but if I was a person who was able to decide quick and hence save themselves, the winner would be ‘The Lion and The Bird’ by Marianne Dubuc. As you can see in the picture, we have the German version of the book but this book is so beautifully illustrated and tells such a wonderful, empathetic tale that language is all but rendered moot.
It tells the story of a lion that finds a bird with a broken wing in his garden. The lion gently picks up the bird and takes him home. As he nurses the bird back to health, the autumn gives way to a cold and icy winter. In spite of the bitter cold outside, the lion and the bird revel in the warmth of their friendship and shared togetherness.
As winter melts away into spring, the bird’s family comes back. In a heart-achingly beautiful picture, we see the lion and the bird look up as they watch the flock return. We know, as does the lion, that it is time to say goodbye.
“Yes” says Lion. “I know”. And he heads back to his home alone.
He works in his garden alone. He brushes alone. In everything that he does, we can feel the emotion, the longing, the absence of a dear, loved one.
Seasons roll by (again very sweetly depicted by the growth of lion’s tomato plants). As another autumn approaches, the lion looks at the sky, thinking about his friend.
And then this:
There he is! Back for another long winter of warmth and friendship.
This is an enchanting picture book for kids and adults alike; the kind of book that fills you up with a warm, fuzzy glow. A heart-tugging tender tale of friendship that shows and teaches empathy without being the least bit preachy.
WHAT RUMI LOVES: She loves to act out this story. We take turns at playing the bird and the lion. She always gets teary-eyed when the bird has to leave but her starry eyes when he comes back, is a sight to behold!
WHAT I LOVE: The idea of a lion as a gentle, loving and extremely kind creature. Many fables and books that we have depict the king of the jungle as a mighty, proud, sometimes arrogant animal. I love the idea of a friendship between the lion and the bird.
Buy it here, this is one gem of a book that will warm your heart for years to come!