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3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  71 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Paperback, 38 pages
Published March 31st 1983 by Puffin Books (first published 1956)
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Best Out of Print Books
57th out of 160 books — 63 voters
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Caldecott Honor Books
135th out of 251 books — 182 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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"This is a lion. Lion says "PEEP PEEP."

This is a ridiculously wonderful story about what happens when middle management gets creative. Artist Foreman is an angelic being who is in charge of the artists in the Drawing Room of the Animal Factory. These design animals which are then "flown to the planets of the universe" after approval by the Chief Designer. Foreman, a former wunderkind, won a medal for designing "worm" while still in infancy, but now that he is in charge, he no longer draws much.
Jun 04, 2008 Maria rated it really liked it
This is another fabulous old-school book. It is an imagining of how animals are created (i.e. in an animal factory in the clouds with buildings of feathers and fur and scaled roofs). They are drawn by working angels (who carry lunch pails). This story, not surprisingly, is about the ups and downs that led to the creation of the lion. An interesting sidebar; an abbreviated version of this story was originally printed in Life magazine. I didn't even know they did things like that. But I do wish ...more
Apr 24, 2015 LibraryGryffon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
I haven't read this in years, but I did back in elementary school and fell in love with it. I'm giving it five stars as it's stuck with me all these years.
Jun 23, 2010 Jane rated it it was amazing
Best kid's book ever on the artist's process. Peep, peep!
I will admit that I actually found a copy of this book awhile back at a library booksale, but it looked kind of boring, so I didn’t buy it. But as I am at the end of this Caldecott Challenge, I need to read the last twenty books and this is one of them. It won a 1957 Caldecott Honor award, and actually isn’t as bad as I originally thought, rather it’s kind of a cute concept. Angels are in charge of creating new creatures on earth and the Foreman is in charge of these Drawing Angels. Only he ...more
Mar 09, 2012 Ed rated it really liked it
Shelves: nerdcott-2012
This is very wacky book, but from an illustration point, it is fantastic. The story is one of the strangest of all the #nerdcott, but the transformation of the Lion is a lot of fun. The colors are fantastic, and some of the early line illustrations in the book are very reminiscent of Seven Simeons: A Russian Tale, which is one of my favorites. I really love all the books I have read from William Pene du Bois, including this one.
1957 Caldecott Honor

Favorite line: Long, long ago, high up in the sky, way above the clouds, there was a white and silver palace.

Favorite illustration: The final, golden iteration of the lion.

Thoughts: I found this one to be very odd. Angels are creating the animals, and as aritsans they go through many iterations to get the lion and its features "just right'. Some of the pictures were pretty bizarre.
Jan 06, 2013 Paul rated it it was ok
Taking place in what looks like a cross between heaven and Santa's North Pole facilities, artist angels are hard at work on inventing animals for creation, with the main storyline being about the invention of the lion. All the permutation the artist goes through before ending with the animal we now know as the lion are amusing, but I found the book tedious and not very engaging.
Amar Pai
Feb 18, 2015 Amar Pai rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-books
The text of this story dragged on and on. It was way too verbose. I liked the story itself though, mainly because it's a vehicle for wacky illustrations of messed up lions.

Asha likes lions so she likes this book

todo: up some pictures from the book
Katie Fitzgerald
Read for #nerdcott. Reviewed in Caldecott Challenge Post #40:
Jul 07, 2015 Josiah rated it it was ok
I would probably give this one and a half stars. A good picture book, with a flowing style and interesting concept. Short, and nicely performed by the Newbery Medal-winning author.
Nov 28, 2011 Lafcadio rated it liked it
This book grew on me as I read it. I was unsure at first how heavy-handed the creationism was going to be, but it was okay.
Kristopher Zeller
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