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The FSF Bookshelf

The Lion Inside

In Bookshelf Stories to support PSED: general


You don't have to be BIG and BRAVE to find your ROAR. Being little isn't always easy. But when Mouse sets off on a journey to find his roar, he discovers that even the smallest creature can have the heart of a lion.


This is a beautiful story book that all children will enjoy. The illustrations are gentle and the colours muted yet in reading, it has impact and moves with pace. Younger children will enjoy recognising familiar animals (all the Lion King and Madagascar favourites are there!). There is plenty to talk about in the careful depictions of the African Plains. 
For older children there are other interesting points to note. For example, at the start of the story when we see where the animals live there is a comedic juxtaposition between the landscape that the Plains animals enjoy and the small (apparently plastic) house that the mouse lives in. [UW/TW, 22-36, 30-50, 40-60+m]
The story is written in rhyme. From a literacy point of view, some rhymes will be clear to children ‘gold/old’ and ‘house/mouse’ for example. Others will challenge more able and older children to see the digraph and trigraph rhymes, for example ‘paw/roar’, ‘tough/stuff’. This will lead children into interesting conversations about how words sound and how they are written and why it is important sometimes to read aloud – even if you are reading aloud ‘in your head’ – so that you don't miss the benefit of the rhymes. [L/R, 22-36, 30-50, 40-60+, ELG]
There are some wonderful EAD opportunities to encourage children to recreate some of the camouflage and textural techniques visible in the illustrations. The drawings are inspirational and are not too intimidating – some tuff spot activities exploring grasses and flowers will excite younger children. Older children might enjoy making camouflage pictures of their favourite animals. [EAD/EUMM, 8-20, 16-26, 22-36, 30-50, 40-60+, ELG]
You could use this book extremely effectively to support children at times of transition. The key ‘messages’ might be condensed as follows:
•    A person who makes a big noise isn't nasty or unkind – sometimes it’s their way of disguising how anxious they feel
•    Empathy – do you know any one who feels left out? Do you know anyone who is a little too loud? Why might that be?
•    “If you want things to change you first have to change you”
There are some great provocations for circle time starting points here – are you more like Lion or like Mouse? What are you afraid of? Why does having a friend make you feel better? Why doesn’t it matter if your friend is different to you? [PSED/MR, 22-36, 30-50, 40-60+, ELG. PSED/SC+SA, 30-50, 40-60+, ELG. PSED/MF+B, 22-36, 30-50, 40-60+, ELG]

A wonderful addition to any early years book shelf.

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