By (artist) :Jenny Lucander ,
Translated by :B.J. Woodstein
Imprint:Groundwood Books - Toronto
Form detail:Picture book, Printed dust jacket
Audience:Juvenile: Age (years) 3 - 6, Grade (CAN) P - 1, Grade (US) P - 1
Dimensions:7.68in x 9.65 in | 0.32 kg
Page Count:32 pages
A tender story, punctuated by moments of humor, about the illness of a sibling, the love between brothers and the healing power of imagination.
I am a lion, and my big brother is one, too … until one day, he gets sick.
The narrator and his big brother have the best game in the world together. They are dangerous lions on the savannah! One day, big brother doesn’t want to run around anymore. His stomach hurts. He has to see the doctor and take medicine, and even has to stay at the hospital.
Lions don’t want to be trapped by wires and tubes! The narrator instigates a hunt, and the brothers run around the hospital together, chasing gazelles and startling the wildebeest. But big brother is very sick and can't keep up. Lions can’t cry, his little brother insists. But they can miss the rest of their pride. With Mom and Dad, the narrator tries to comfort his sibling. Soon, he knows, the two lions will go hunting again.
A tender story, unexpectedly punctuated by moments of humor, about the illness of a sibling, the love between brothers and the healing power of imagination.
Key Text Features
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
JENS MATTSSON is a school librarian living in Lund, Sweden. We Are Lions! is his debut work, inspired by the eternal subjects of life, death and play.
JENNY LUCANDER is a Finnish-Swedish children's book creator who has illustrated several acclaimed children's books. She has won the Nordic Council Children and Young People's Literature Prize, and has been nominated for the Runenberg Prize and the Rudolf Koivu Prize for the most beautiful picture book. She lives in Helsinki, Finland.
B.J. WOODSTEIN is a translator, writer, doula, lactation consultant and associate professor of literature. She lives in Norwich, England, with her wife and their children.
This shattering picture book is practical and elevating in equal measure. … As unflinching as a child’s questions, and brutally compelling. STARRED REVIEW- School Library Journal
Inspired and sensitive storytelling that will help little ones make sense of a potentially disturbing topic. STARRED REVIEW- Kirkus
Truly good picture books have text and illustrations that complement each other, acting together to form a single story told by two forms of communication, and We Are Lions! is a masterful example of this. … Dealing with themes like illness, death, and grief, We Are Lions! is a picture book that can be used to introduce these hard but important topics to a wide variety of readers. On the other hand, it can also help children who have faced grief in their lives understand it better and not feel as alone in it.- CM: Canadian Review of Materials
A sensitive treatment of childhood illness as well as a celebration of the joys of a child’s imagination.- Winnipeg Free Press
Mattsson’s writing is simple, playful, and inspiring as the narrator experiences serious obstacles and emotions that leave him feeling sad, angry, and isolated from his parents and his brother.- Children's Literature Comprehensive Database
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