12 Days Of Xmas Book Reviews, Day 6: How to Hide a Lion at Christmas
By Emma Davis
18th December 2018
Author & Illustrator: Helen Stephens
Having recently read and reviewed ‘How to Hide a Lion’, I was very excited for the publication of this new offering by Helen Stephens, ‘How to Hide a Lion at Christmas!’
It’s Christmas Eve and time for Iris and her family to set off for Auntie Sarah’s. But not everyone is invited…”You can’t take a lion on a train,” says Mum. Undeterred, Iris attempts to stow him away. Unfortunately, her efforts are in vain – he’s too big for her suitcase, too wriggly to be wrapped up and covering him in Christmas decorations just doesn’t work. Poor lion will have to spend Christmas alone…or will he?!
Lion hates seeing Iris upset so makes the brave decision to follow his family and is soon hidden amongst the luggage on the train. As the family reach their stop, lion is sleeping soundly and is taken right to the end of the line. His love for Iris and determination to find her means he heads out into the night, one cold paw in front of the other as he follows the train tracks back through the snow.
After a run in with carol singers which will have children giggling, lion runs away and scales a tree for safety. That’s when he spots Iris’s toy lion in an upstairs window – could it be Auntie Sarah’s house? How can he get inside?
“Just then, the lion saw a funny thing. A man in a red coat was climbing up and down all the chimneys!”
It’s Father Christmas! Seeing him go down through the chimney gives lion an idea…unfortunately, it doesn’t quite come off and when Iris finds him the next morning, lion looks a little different to usual!
Lion’s festive adventure makes for a charming tale to share this Christmas. His resourcefulness and determination offer discussion points around friendship and love. The gorgeous, classic illustrations enable children to follow the story without words so they can independently read it for themselves or with friends. This delightful Christmassy book really will become a family and class favourite.