Review: A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Image of book cover from Goodreads
Image of book cover from Goodreads

Title: A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals

Author: Lucy Ruth Cummins

Category: Picture Book

Publisher/Date: Atheneum Books for Young Readers/15 March 2016

Edition: Hardcover



Barnes and Noble:

Once upon a time there was a very hungry lion and some adorable little animals…

What do you think happened next?

This book has content warning for off-page, implied animal violence.

I am not even sure that I have the vocabulary to describe how delightful I found this picture book to be. What I can say is that once I finished reading it, I reread it. And then I reread it again. And again. And again. And then I made my coworker read it. And then I read it again. And then I read it to a handful of other coworkers. And then I read it yet again, and probably a handful more times after that. (And then I remembered that I’m not supposed to be rereading books in 2018 and decided to justify it because I read this book for class and rereads for class don’t count against me. I’m not sure if I can justify 20+ rereads in this manner, but I can certainly try.)

You can pretty much guess what’s going to happen just by reading the title of the book. The fun in this book, though, comes from the multiple false starts and multiple false endings that are placed throughout the book. Every single one of them makes you either anticipate something horrifying or relax a bit more than you should, and the book really keeps you on your toes as you keep reading to see what happens to all of the animals.

The tone of the book is really light and playful for how dark the content of the book gets. The contrast between the two is hilarious; the first two pages alone were enough to entice several of my friends to read this book as well because the humor is just so appealing.

Lucy Ruth Cummins has written a masterful picture book, one that is appealing to not just kids but to teens and adults as well. I borrowed this book from my library, but I really want to own a copy of this book for myself as well. It’s adorable and snarky, and it’s well worth reading.

Final rating: 5 of 5 stars

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