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Tawny Scrawny Lion
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Tawny Scrawny Lion

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  10,455 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Once there was a tawny scrawny lion who chased monkeys on Monday-kangaroos on Tuesday-zebras on Wednesday-bears on Thursday-camels on Friday-and on Saturday, elephants!

So begins the funny, classic Golden story of a family of ten fat rabbits that teaches the hungry lion to eat carrot stew-so that he doesn't eat them!
ebook, 0 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Random House Children's Books (first published 1952)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Michael
I saw this book in a toybox at the barber shop today. I'm sure I've read this numerous times to Karen. I couldn't resist the temptation to read it again. I did get some looks. It was worth it.
Connie
Now, like many stories of that era featuring "wild animals", the geography is complete nonsense. Lions coexist with bears and kangaroos. Yes, this is annoying. How annoying probably has a direct relationship to whether or not your beloved Mama read you this book when you were little :) And, like many stories of that era, the biology is also a bit skewed - Lions who eat carrot and fish stew will not be happy and plump, they will be even scrawnier because lions are obligate carnivores. Eating meat ...more
Cheryl
I must have read this as a child or a young mom, but I sure don't remember it. Odd, because, in its way, it is a memorable story. I mean, never mind the silly plot, but think of the recipe: carrots, fish, and mushrooms. Think of ten little bunnies wearing clothes. Think of lions, kangaroos, and other wild animals all living in the same country.

Anyway, I have no idea whether I would have liked it when I was a kid. I kinda doubt it. But reading it now, I enjoy it on retro & surreal levels, and
...more
Swankivy
This book was kinda disturbing to me as a kid because I have always hated stories in which animals or inanimate objects depicted as thinking and feeling like people attempt to eat each other or try to avoid getting eaten. To this day I'm disturbed by M&M's commercials and Chik-fil-A ads in which the talking creatures reason with you to make you less inclined to eat them, and I'm disturbed by talking cereal ads and food packaging that says "Eat me!" or "I'm delicious!" So a whole book in whic ...more
Nathaniel
There's a page in this book where the lion has been filled with stew, and he's bummed because he's so full he can't eat all the bunnies. So he asks if he can stick around for a while, and the bunnies all hop up on his belly. The picture that goes with this scene - the look on the lion's face - it's perfection. I had the pleasure of reading this to my three-year-old daughter recently, and she enjoyed it almost as much as I did, though she didn't understand that the lion wanted to eat the bunnies ...more
Julie Decker
In this kids' book, the lion chases rabbits trying to eat them until they convince him it would be better to eat carrot stew.

I've never been a fan of books that depict animals as desperate to avoid getting eaten. It disturbs the heck out of me, and reading an entire kids' book about a lion trying to make a meal out of characters depicted as having personalities was quite upsetting. Especially since I knew that no real lions are switching to vegetarian diets because their prey provided an alterna
...more
E. Writes
Tawny Scrawny Lion is a classic, hilarious, and heartwarming tale of imaginative telling, and the lesson within is as applicable today as it ever was. I remember my parents reading this to us kids before I could read myself, and I still find myself saying "five fat sisters and four fat brothers" to myself whenever I need reminding that my goal lies beyond some obstacle in my way.
That's a lesson for life!!
Pam
The Tawny Scrawny Lion was a highlight of my childhood. It is a book I loved so much that I have copies of it put up for hopefully future family members some day. It is a great book to read to children and teach them about working within their spectrum of the environment they reside in. The Lion had to slowly come around to eating lots of healthy things to become healthy not just in body but mind.
Dee
Sep 09, 2014 Dee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any child.
This is a funny story that teaches rather erroneous information about carnivores and their dietary requirements. I think a vegetarian family would enjoy this! Just don't go making your own cat into a vegan...it's only a story, folks.
Mira
Such a cute kid's book! Would've been cuter, though, if the bunnies had taught the lion to be a vegetarian, instead of feeding him fish. :)
Emerson
We have the book with audio CD. The story teller's voice and animal sounds are great. I'd never heard this story. It starts off very disturbingly, about the lion eating all the other animals. Then the other animals trick the fat little rabbit into talking with the lion. The rabbit is smart though and convinces the lion not to eat him by telling him that he can come to his house where there are many other fat rabbits. So they go and then they convert the Tawny Scrawny Lion into a vegetarian with ...more
Karen
I was very sensitive as a child. The idea of one animal eating another animal bothered me. So, as a consequence, despite the fantastic artwork, I did not really like this book.

Fast-forward thirty or so years and I'm working as a children's librarian. For some reason, our department decided to turn this book into a puppet show. I'm working on the "screenplay" for the puppet show, and I suddenly realize how funny this book actually is.

My newly-five-year-old son has a very strong and and strange
...more
Josh
Probably my favorite of the Little Golden Books, because the art work is hilarious.
Lindsey
The classic story about a hungry lion who won't stop eating the other jungle animals and the clever rabbit who tricks him into filling his belly with stew.

It's a pretty standard kids' story: problem, cute animals, simple solution. But I can't help but wonder if there's an implied moral; specifically, that eating vegetarian is better (which is great for some but not for others). (Another might be that doing something is better than sitting around in fear.) I'd love to know more about the history
...more
H.L. Stephens
Another favorite from the Golden Books collection.
Margaret
Food is a great way to make friends.
Sheila
What do I like best about this book? The fact that when I had my daughter, my cousin sent me a box of "hand me down clothes" and included in the box were a couple childrens books, old childrens books, and old childrens books that I had written my name in. This is one of the books. My name is written on the inside cover in childish print. This book was mine. I read it when I was probably 5 or 6 years old. That is why I like this book.
Harini Srinivasan
There's a Tamil saying which, loosely translated, says: Will a tiger eat grass even if it's hungry? The traditional answer is of course supposed to be a resounding 'No'. This book, meant to read out to and enjoy with the kids in your life, tells what happens when a tawny scrawny eternally hungry lion meets a family of fat, happy rabbits and is invited to share their carrot stew. Rollicking fun!
Winslow
You especially like the page where the bunny rabbits are sitting on the lion's lap singing, particularly because B. always sings the carrot stew song that he learned from an old 45rpm record that was folded into the back of his copy of the book when he was a child: "Carrot stew, carrot stew, it's our favorite thing to do. Get a pot and a carrot or two, and cook up some carrot stew."
Marcella Lowry
This has to be one of the best books of all time. Its sweet simpleness catches the reader's attention, starting with the sad condition of the lion, followed by the accepting nature of the rabbit. I found it taught Christlike principles, such as loving others, the Golden Rule, among others. I read this to all my children, & hope you enjoy reading this to yours.
Gary Masskin
Whilst I thought the story and some of the language was quite dated, my little girl often requests another read. And whilst I usually prefer the protagonist (the little bunny in this case) to solve their own problem in a more deliberate fashion, the good karma he's built up offers an acceptable substitute.
Josiah
I would likely grant this book one and a half stars.
The humor is amusing, especially the way that the Tawny Scrawny Lion blames the animals for his skinniness because they run away from him when he tries to eat them! The way the narrative resolves itself is both warm and somewhat unexpected.
Kat
This was always one of my favorite books when I was very small. There was just something about a lion eating carrot stew that struck me as really funny. It's definitely a classic, and I still love the illustrations as an adult, though the lion looks a bit possessed at times. *shrug*
Rachel
This is one of those rare children's books that quietly teaches kids something but is a STORY. It's a fun tale about a lion who was never satisfied, who befriended rabbits who fed him stew and gave him companionship. It's funny, the pictures are great and kids love this book.
Karey
This is in the line of The Saggy Baggy Elephant, both fun stories by Kathryn Jackson. Always a fun read-aloud to the children. I'm a fan of almost every Golden Book I've come across. If you look hard, you can find little miniature versions of them, which are really adorable.
Tish
Dec 31, 2007 Tish rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
A fantastic story, subversive for its time in its overt vegetarianism, which I only recognize now that I'm an adult (totally missed it when I was a child). Read it to any child afraid of soup, and then make some with them (don't forget to add a little cumin!)
Dylan
This is a great book for kids. I still have my copy over 20 years later and when a friend has a baby I'll order up a copy. It's great for a laugh and gives a different spin on the story of the king of the jungle.
Melainebooks
Un lion rachitique a beau manger, il reste maigre car il court beaucoup. Les animaux envoyent un lapin au casse-pipe mais il va les sauver en faisant manger du gâteau à la carotte au lion et le rassasier.
Claire S
Great story, mini-example where two actors who seem to be in a zero-sum game are able to change their paradigm into a win-win. Also, is warm and sweet and the pictures and lovely and it's completely wonderful!
Nicole
My kids love this book, but I don't get it. LOL It's kinda cute, but it's not my favorite. The illustrations are cute, though. I gave it a 3 because my kids like it so much. I probably would have given it a 2.
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