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A Lion In The Meadow (Picture Puffin)
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A Lion In The Meadow (Picture Puffin)

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  181 ratings  ·  17 reviews
What would you do if you knew there was a lion in the meadow, but your mother wouldn't believe you and gave you a matchbox with a dragon to scare the away the lion... and in fact the dragon was there too?
Published May 25th 1995 by Puffin Bks (first published September 1st 1969)
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Community Reviews

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When a little boy tells his mother there is a lion outside, she assumes he is imagining it and advises him accordingly.

Simple and striking, this book plays with the boundaries between imagination and reality. I really like it except for the last page (view spoiler).
I'm still new to Margaret Mahy and this was a present from the guys at work. One of her more famous stories I believe. It's a nice warm story about the nature of stories and imagination and where the line between them and reality can blur, especially in the mind of a child.

Jenny Williams creates some modern and lovely artwork to fit the story with a lot of nice background details (great for a game of 'can you find..?). Plus, there's that great surprise splash page near the end.

This is the first
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
A 1001 CBYMRBYGU. A common theme I see in books for young children is parents who do not listen to their children. That’s the theme of this book. The little boy tells his mom that he sees a lion in the meadow, but his mother dismisses him. The pictures show the mother carrying on with her daily chores while the boy continues to move closer and closer to the lion. Eventually, the mother seeks to counter by telling the boy a tale of her own, but that has unexpected results.

The little boy said,
Margaret Mahy's A Lion in the Meadow is a fun and colourful children's book that blurs the lines between the real and imaginary worlds. Aimed at children between the ages of 4 and 8 years, the story is about a boy who spots a lion whilst playing in the meadow. Despite his protestations, his mother doesn't believe him and instead, decides to give the boy a matchbox and tells him that there's a dragon inside that will chase the lion away. However, the dragon turns out to be real so the lion and th ...more
I was not surprised to see that this story was initially published in 1969 because it had a beautiful classic feel to it, much like Hans Christian Anderson's work. In the end I am still uncertain if the lion in the story was real or a only part of the boys imagination. Leaving the story unclear does add a nice twist and allows for fun discussions with your kiddos about what they think happened, and most likely they will want to reread it to better form their opinion.
One of my favorites to use in story times... children really like the interactions between the mother and the boy, the boy and the lion, and how imagination is respected and yet not coddled as some cutesy thing. For those who can still imagine dragons in the garden and befriending lions in the meadow...and for those who want to.
Margaret Mahy is an inspiring award-winning author.

This story really opens the imagination up to wonderful adventures. The Lion in the Meadow is so descriptive.

I love how the story ends with a friendship.

Great illustrations by Jenny Williams.
There is a lion in the meadow, a little boy tells his mother. But of course his mother is busy, and rather than coming to look she tells him another story to 'fix' the problem of the lion.

Unexpected. Magical. True Margaret Mahy.
I have a really old (70's) copy of this, with different art work
which i LOVE!! but the story is short and meaningful to a child
very succinct - isn't that often the best way?
Samantha Grayson
Brilliantly written book about a boy who tells his hum there is a lion in the meadow. His mother doesn't believe him so sends him out with a matchbox which contains a dragon. The lion and dragon turn out to be real.
This is a fantastic read which children will love. It is a great book for early readers.
This didn't work for me. It felt like a few pages were missing.
Kid really likes this at 24 months. I like that it's about fear, and that some of the fear it diffuses, and some of it it just puts into the meadow on the other side of the house and decides to ignore, which is what we have to do with some fears. Also that the mother offers some protection, but cannot universally protect. It's nice for a child working through his own autonomy/independence in the world (ie a toddler).
My first library memory revolves around this book! Before I started school, my Mum found a copy in the withdrawn books area of Te Atatu South Library (of beloved memory) - and I still have that copy.
Fabulously vivid 70s illustrations accompany the story of a young boy and the 'imaginary' lion in the meadow.
Excellent story, happily bears re-reading as it is rather frequently requested. I think this copy was mine originally. The poor mother wears a lot of pink, is constantly cooking, and is punished for her lively imagination, but apart from that the story is a happy one.
Peter Millett
A classic children's book. Interesting that Margaret agreed to change the ending of her beloved book later in life. I've never seen that done before. I think the new ending is better though. A risk worth taking.
Melinda Szymanik
There is never anything ordinary about Margaret Mahy's books. If anything can make a child believe in the mystery and magic of the world it is this book. "Some stories are true and some aren't."
Sree marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2014
Debbie Lester
Debbie Lester marked it as to-read
Nov 17, 2014
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Christina Browne marked it as to-read
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Margaret Mahy was a well-known New Zealand author of children's and young adult books. While the plots of many of her books have strong supernatural elements, her writing concentrates on the themes of human relationships and growing up.

Her books The Haunting and The Changeover: A Supernatural Romance both received the Carnegie Medal of the British Library Association. There have 100 children's boo
More about Margaret Mahy...
The Changeover The Seven Chinese Brothers The Tricksters Bubble Trouble The Haunting

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