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How to Hide a Lion
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How to Hide a Lion

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  311 ratings  ·  67 reviews
How does a very small girl hide a very large lion? It’s not easy, but Iris has to do her best, because moms and dads can be funny about having a lion in the house. Luckily, there are lots of good places to hide a lion—behind the shower curtain, in your bed, and even up a tree. But can Iris hide her lion forever?

With Helen Stephens’s timeless art and elegant text, readers w...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published July 19th 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Chelle
The illustrations are darling and remind me of Margaret Bloy Graham (Harry the Dirty Dog). The story felt a little flat. Not especially humorous and I felt disappointed with the resolution. The lion only finds acceptance, and allowed to get a hat, when he proves his worth to the townspeople by nabbing burglars. The lion is a stand-in for anyone who has felt like an outsider. I wish the emphasis had stayed on the relationship between child and lion and that the relationship was enough to prove th...more
Saffron
This is a beautifully illustrated book about a lion who goes into town to buy a hat. Understandably, the townspeople are alarmed at having a lion in their midst and chase him away. A little girl knows he is a kind lion and she invites him to stay with her. Unfortunately, her parents eventually spot him so the lion hides on top of the town hall next to two lion statues. From this vantage point, he spots two burglars and frightens them away by roaring at them. The townspeople realise what the litt...more
Kathryn
Utterly charming illustrations totally won me over though there is nothing especially original in the story and I'm not sure I loved the resolution.
Chelsea
When a lion decides to go into town to purchase a hat, he is surprised and hurt by the violent reaction of the villagers. After the frightened townsfolk take up pitchforks and chase him away, he hides in the playhouse of a little girl named Iris (who is not afraid of lions). Capable Iris brushes the lion's mane, bandages his wounds, and comforts his hurt feelings. The two quickly become playmates, sharing stories and games, and carefully hiding from Iris's mum and dad. Their happiness is short-l...more
Brenda Kahn
Poor lion, all he wants is a hat, but the townspeople aren't very welcoming. Then he meets Iris and her attempts to hide her new friend are simply hilarious. This is another one with a rather retro feel to the illustrations even though there's plenty of color. Energy and humor exudes from each one. And, I just love his final hiding place.
Cari Williams
How to hide a lion is about a girl named Iris who comes across a big, huge lion and befriends and hides him. The story starts off with the lion wanting to go to town because he wants a hat. Then when the towns people see him they get really scared so he runs away. The lion finds himself in a play house hiding out from everyone when Iris finds him. The play house was hers and so she says to him that he can't hide there but she has somewhere he can hide. She takes him to her house and of course, h...more
Samantha
An unlikely friendship is forged between girl and lion when a lion seeks refuge in a little girl's playhouse. The townspeople chased the lion away out of fear and Iris befriended him. Hiding him isn't easy, but it is super cute to behold as a reader and when her parents discover the lion he takes to the road again. It takes a brave act (thwarting burglars) to change his public opinion, but in the end the lion gets all that he ever wanted in the first place: a hat.

I loved all the small vignettes...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
This one would make a great read aloud. It is adorable. I really enjoyed it.
Diana
Mooolto bello!
Al momento, il favorito di Emma.
Sia la storia che le illustrazioni sono bellissime.
Adatto anche ai bimbi dai 2 anni.
Diane
A lion wanders into town to buy a hat, but the townspeople are afraid and chase him away. He hides in Iris' playhouse (though he can't really hide because it's too small). So Iris takes him into the house and tries to hide him there because "Moms and Dads can be funny about having a lion in the house."
Lions are big, fluffy and heavy, so "It wasn't easy hiding a lion", but Iris manages. They even manage to have some fun, until Mom discovers the lion and he runs again. While hiding in plain sight,...more
paula
It's the flip side of Peter Brown's Mr. Tiger Goes Wild!
Tasha
Oh my, what a charmer of a book! It is the story of a lion who comes to town to buy a hat. But the people in town are afraid of him and chase him away. He runs off to hide in a yard under a dog house where he is discovered by a little girl named Iris. Iris immediately recognizes that he is a kind lion and invites him into her house. They did their best to keep him hidden and Iris took good care of him by brushing his mane and putting a bandage on his hurt foot. They also had a lot of fun, but th...more
Debbie Tanner
I love this old fashioned looking picture book about a lion who comes to town (looking to buy a hat) who is rescued by a brave girl named Iris. Iris suggests that lion hides in her house (her parents would not approve, so she hides him from her parents too). When her mother finds out the lion is there, that's when things go wrong. It's a great story for making predictions, talking about character traits, or comparing fiction and non fiction.
Mary
A lion comes to town to buy a hat, but the frightened townspeople run him off. A young girl, Iris, finds him hiding in her playhouse. She keeps him and attempts to hide him from her parents. It works for awhile until he falls asleep and she can't move him in time to prevent her mom from discovering him. The lion runs back to town and hides among a couple of stone lions. He thwarts a robbery and becomes a hero. Great story and wonderful illustrations that almost feel retro.
Karen
Last year's Pantone color might have been emerald green, but for the kid-lit world, the color was clearly blue, and specifically Tiffany/robin's egg blue.

My five-year-old son picked this book out of the library this week. We'll need to get our own copy now. This book recalled Herbert, the Lion to me, and that was a good thing. The text was not in rhyme, and that was a good thing. The story was sweet, but not overly precious, and that was a very good thing.

And the artwork suited this wonderful...more
Aeicha
Helen Stephens’ How to Hide a Lion is a sweet, funny story about one lion’s need for a hiding place and one little girl who sees the kindness in him. A lion, on the hunt for a new hat, strolls into town and is chased away by the scared townsfolk. He runs away and befriends, Iris, who keeps him at her house. But a big, often sleepy and loud lion, is not easy to hide.

Stephens has spun a heartwarming and enchanting story about friendship and looking past a person’s appearance. Young readers will be...more
Jane G Meyer
A charming story about Iris, who befriends a kind lion, chased by the townspeople. The illustrations are perfect--whimsical, fun, inventive, colorful... And the story has a little twist at the end. I could see this story easily becoming a child's favorite.
Mary
This is a cute and clever book about friendship in an unexpected place. Even though people are afraid of him, the lion works hard to keep everyone safe. In the end, people see him for what he is - a nice lion - and reward his good deeds.
Keeko
This had me smiling from beginning to end (great suspense too!). What a lovable book. I admire the author for remembering how a child might think about this lion and for creating a book with a message with such gentle humor.
Diane

Fun story which includes lessons on not prejudging and having "different" friends. I did have to wonder, though, that over what appears to be several days, people worried that a lion would eat them, but this lion didn't eat anything.
Barbara
When Iris meets a lion who hides after being chased by the townspeople, she tries very hard to keep him a secret from her parents. Hiding a lion is not easy to do, but she manages to pull it off until he falls asleep during a read aloud and won't budge as her mother heads into her room. The noisy scream frightens him, and he runs away. Later, his heroic actions bring him a reward from the town's mayor--a hat, which is what brought him to town in the first place. Effective soft-hued illustrations...more
Bethe
bookaday #60. Nice friendship story of Iris and her lion, misunderstood by the townspeople. Lion has a very expressive face in the pleasantly old fashioned style illustrations. A little foreshadowing on the title page.
Madi
Adorably cute book which reminded me of "The Happy Lion" by Louise Fatio. A great book to teach children that sometimes you can't always judge someone or something by their physical appearance. Very fun and cute read.
Chrissy
Happy little book, with a happy large lion. Iris is smart and resourceful, but the ending just felt tacked on...robbers, and a hat...what? Better if the story had stayed in the house with Iris and her parents.
Marcia
A vintage feel gives this story of a kind girl and a lion its heart. The illustrations are wonderful, and the book design superb, which drive an otherwise average story to a higher level. Loved it!
Aprilj328
A lion comes to town to buy a hat but is scared away by the fearful townspeople. He makes a friend who tries to hide him in her home but it is hard to hide a lion for long.
Lions, Friendship, Heroes
Sharon Lawler
Such a tender story about a lion who comes to town to buy a hat, and a little girl who is not afraid to be his friend. Expressions on the lion's face, and the trust shown by Iris speak volumes.
Paula
Iris understands that grown-ups are afraid of lions, but when she finds one in her playhouse she knows he is kind so she keeps him hidden from her parents for as long as possible
GalindoLibrarian
A book I would have loved as a child and I look forward to reading it at storytime! Who doesn't love a friendly and loveable lion who is misunderstood as scary? Like the Lion in the Library, the lion shows his value, wins over the people and gets accepted and in this case, gets the hat he wanted in the first place. Adorable story and illustrations.
Kimberly
I love the illustrations and storyline, but like others has commented, the ending just felt like you were left hanging. Maybe there will be a sequel...
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