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The Lion and the Little Red Bird
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The Lion and the Little Red Bird

4.55 of 5 stars 4.55  ·  rating details  ·  164 ratings  ·  37 reviews
A little bird discovers why a lion's tail changes color each day.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published February 1st 1996 by Puffin Books (first published May 30th 1992)
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This is one of those books that I just want to hug. It is so sweet and adorable and special! The lion is so cuddly. The little red bird is so pretty. Their land is interesting and beautiful. There's a little mystery, a budding friendship, and a deep appreciation of art and the beauty of nature. I loved it!
Lisa Vegan
Apr 13, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: animal loves, nature lovers, art lovers
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
Oh, this is so adorable! Don’t expect a realistic lion and bird, not at all, but their developing friendship is so sweet.

I loved the artistic good-hearted lion and the curious bird.

I love this author/illustrator’s illustrations, and I once again really enjoyed them in this book; I think the art work is outstanding. There is so much to look at on every page. The deep blue lake page was especially appealing.
Crystal Marcos
My husband, daughter, and I really love this book! It is a refreshing delightful read. It is quite the colorful book with lovely illustrations. A wonderful book to read on a gloomy day or any day for that matter. We like the sweet story of the friendship of little bird and the lion. This is a definite great gift book for any children's book lover, especially those who love animals.
We LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! We have had it for many years (I think my daughter was 2 when we got it, she's now 10) and we still read it. Very sweet story about friendship and language. The illustrations are fantastic (as they are in all Elisa Kleven books). This book was read many many times when my daughter started attending a bi-lingual dual immersion school where about 85% of the students spoke Spanish only (She was part of a very small minority I think 5% that spoke only English at home. Th ...more
Crystal Jackson
This is a really cool and creative book! It think this a great book for a variety of lessons such as Colors, Friendship, and Diversity. The lion and bird do not understand each others language, but they still are able to grow a friendship.
Kerry (The Roaming Librarian)
I think this was the best of my storytime books for today. It was the perfect middle, and both I, and the kids were captivated by the story and the illustrations. (This gave the kids many opportunities to guess what would happen and they were more invested in this one I think.) Beautiful colors and it was the perfect length for reading out loud. Definitely recommended!
Best book I have read in the past month (and we have been reading A TON of children's books all of the sudden!) Loved the story, the mystery, the artwork, the colors - everything. If I was little, I would be asking for this book to be read often. It just makes me happy :) - I read this with my 4.5 year old son. He loved it and giggled and guessed right along with me.
Ellen Ramsey
This is one of my favorite books--and my granddaughter's also. Why is lion's tail a different color every time the little red bird sees him? I love the ending that explains the mystery of the many-colored tail. A delightful story with exquisite illustrations.
Molly Lamson
Willie loved this very much. I loved it very much too - such a great book. One of the best childrens books I've read in some time - we really enjoyed it.
One of my son's favorite lion books. A great little fable about a lion and a bird and their unlikely friendship. Beautiful art. Loved reading this to my son.
Jermeria Daniel
This is a good book for teaching colors to children. As the lion in the story, the children can dip their "lion" paintbrushes in different colored paint and create their own story.
I like the question and answer of why the lion's tail is different colors.
I read this book to my 2yr old daughter to help her with learning all her colors. I've always loved it!
How does the lion's tail keep changing colors? The little song bird wonders. The answer is delightful.
Wonderfully detailed pictures made with mixed-media collage, watercolors, pastels, paper & ink and lamb's wool.
Bonnie Gayle
I read this for my storytelling class, and did end up...performing it...I guess would be the correct terminology.

It's a cute story, and I loved the mixed media artwork, but with storytelling you never see the book so macht nichts.

It worked pretty well for storytelling, but it doesn't follow the rule of 3 so it's a little bit odd.

Anyway, it's about a bird who sees a lion and becomes curious because the lion's tail is green. The bird follows the lion, and sees that the tail changes color daily. E
Great story, beautiful pictures.
Torrie Wilson
Kids love this book because they are amazed by the color of the tail changing. It is a great book to read when introducing colors. I thought it was cool that each time the tail changed colors there was something the author related the color to like when the tail turned orange after he went threw the orange flowers.
Reading to your children when they're young is one of the greatest gifts you can do for them; this is very entertaining story for them as well as you (the narrator).
Jan 25, 2014 Brandi added it
A little red bird tries to discover why a lion's tail keeps changing color in this cute picture book full of color.
This is one of my favorite all-time children's books. I bought it for my granddaughters and other little children as well. It's all about the artistic lion who goes into his cave every night and comes out with a different colored tail in the morning. The little red bird befriends the lion and is fascinated by the changes in his tail color. The bird eventually finds out that the lion is using his tail for a paint brush in his cave every night. Lovely story. Well-told!
This book is a favorite for our whole family. The lovely collage illustrations are detailed and constantly reveal new touches never before appreciated. The story, about a lion scours the countryside looking for inspiration and then paints with his tail -- and the little bird who becomes his friend and greatest fan -- is really wonderful. If I could find hardcover copies, I would be giving this as birthday gifts to all of Lenore's friends.
Kelly Whelchel
Great read aloud to read over the course of a week. Start the week reading the book and add a little to it each day. Have the kids retell the story after I close the book. This will help to introduce different animals and predict what may happen next. Also deals with art. Have the students come up with different ways that someone could paint, ie with a stick, with a rock, with grass...
Tiffany Young
This is such a cute little story! The bird is curious as to why the lion's tail changes colors each day. She later discovers that the lion is using his tail as a paintbrush to paint the inside of his cave. This story could be used to teach students about creativity as well as friendship!
Christina Mack
Really enjoyed reading this story. The beautiful illustrations and mystery within the reading had children listening and watching very closely.

extension:Have children predict what the lion would paint at the end of the story.

LD1f: makes predictions from pictures and titles.
Florence Lyon
What an adorable book with beautiful illustrations and likeable characters. This book was an Ottawa Public Library favourite for story time with my children. They would imitate the little bird's questions and were disappointed that the lion didn't respond.
All right, so I'm a hardened, jaded adult. It's tough to make me cry. Boyfriends, weddings, dead relatives - nothing does it anymore.

This book wrought tears. IT'S SO GOOD. It made me believe that there's a squishy center to me again.
In an age of overstimulation and scensory overload, there is great need for stories such as this for young is a quiet, gentle, beautiful story with a message that transcends time and culture.
Molly Z
I love this book of friendship and care for others even when they are different. beautifully illustrated and my son age 7 still loves to hear the story and look at all the beautiful pictures!
This is THE CUTEST picture book! My mom discovered it on a sitting job and we've been giving copies of it to all the little kids we know! The story is cute and the artwork is AMAZING!
I love this little book. Great story with beautiful illustrations. It is a great length and keeps the boys' attention.
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Elisa Kleven is the author and/or illustrator of over 30 childrens picture books. Favorites with children and adults alike, Elisa's books have received awards and honors from the American Library Association, The New York Times , The Junior Library Guild, School Library Journal, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Her pictures from Abuela are part of a traveling show organized by the Minne ...more
More about Elisa Kleven...
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