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A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals

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Once upon a time there was a very hungry lion and some adorable little animals...

What do you think happened next?

40 pages, Hardcover

First published March 15, 2016

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Lucy Ruth Cummins

23 books28 followers

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5 stars
688 (40%)
4 stars
630 (36%)
3 stars
282 (16%)
2 stars
84 (4%)
1 star
22 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 371 reviews
Profile Image for Mir.
4,842 reviews5,003 followers
February 4, 2017
The title, with its use of long words, may be a hint that this is not really intended for the usual picture book demographic of small children. I took it back to the library without reading it to my little niece, because I was pretty certain it would upset her. It would have upset me when I was her age -- although, oddly, a similar book in which a bunch of HUMANS got eaten by a lion would probably have been fine with me. Kittens>people. Anyway, I can see older kids or ones with a dark sense of humor enjoying this, but I would urge parents of more sensitive tykes to read the entire thing before deciding whether or not to share it.

Sniff. Poor kitten.
Profile Image for Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf).
438 reviews289 followers
July 12, 2017
I have had this book for a while now and It has taught me a very valuable lesson: **ALWAYS READ A BOOK YOURSELF BEFORE READING IT TO YOUR SMALL CHILD!!**
I was shopping one day and found this book in dymocks. I don't know if I was in a hurry or just not paying attention, but I should have thought (FROM THE DARN TITLE MEL!!!) that perhaps this is slightly inappropriate for the very little ones. A DWINDLING Assortment of Animals. Sigh.

So as any other somewhat slightly intelligent person can figure out from the cover (not me obviously), there is a lion in this book, and there is a dwindling assortment of animals. As in, there are a lot of animals, and then there are not so many animals. One guess as to where they go.... But there are a few twists and turns to this book, don't start complaining I'm giving away the story for you... The lion's dietary preferences do not spoil the story here.

Anyway, there I was sitting with my (then 2 year old) son on the couch reading this book, he was extremely excited about the fact that there was a lion. I, on the other hand was silently regretting my choice of children's book purchase, and wondering if I could suddenly take it away without a tantrum. HOWEVER, he BLOODY LOVED IT!!!

I'm not sure if he was just at the age where he didn't really understand that a lion EATS other animals, or if he just didn't care. He thought it was the funniest book he had ever seen, and proceeded to make me read it to him 5 more times in the next hour.

So a year on, he certainly does understand that lions eat other animals now, but he still loves this book. He enjoys finding and pointing out the animals as I read them out, he loves the twists the book takes, and he LOVES the ending!

The only thing I don't like about this book is after we read it my son goes around the house yelling "HEY! WHO TURNED OUT THE LIGHTS?!!".

Would we recommend A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals?

Yes, but only to children who are not sensitive to the food chain and the "cycle of life"!

For more book reviews, check out my blog
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
December 7, 2016
Each year I and my family read and rate all the Goodreads picture book nominees. This one is nominated for 2016. I make a few comments and then add their separate ratings and a comment. There's 15 and this is the sixth being rated. My rating might be somewhat influenced by the family, naturally. This is our collective favorite so far, of eight books.

[And after reading all 20 books, this was our favorite book of the nominees. However, like other things (people) I voted for in November 2016, this did not win. Not only did it not win, it did not make the finals for Goodreads picture book voting but it did get 16th place overall which is not nothing, given how many picture books come out each year, but I was disappointed it was not in the top five. It is so good!]

Me? 4 1/2 stars. With 2 or three actual surprises in it. Actually I thought this might be the only Goodreads nominee about climate change! Uh, moving on. . . It's cute and surprisingly and hilariously dark, in a couple places (see above). (And see below, for actual spoilers from kids, ha).

Tara (my wife): 5 stars. Totally hilarious! I liked how the sentences made you inspect the pictures. And I like how it is unexpected, twice!
Harry (11): 4 1/2 stars. I liked how the turtle was protected by his shell, eating the cake at the end.
Hank (10): 5 stars. I like how it kept starting over from the beginning and the turtle got to eat the cake at the end.
Lyra (9): 5 stars. I like how the turtle got to eat the cake.
Profile Image for Anna.
269 reviews93 followers
November 22, 2016
Animals extremely cute, especially when they're dressed up for the party -- I didn't expect the shocking twist at the end!
Profile Image for Zahra Zarrinfar.
91 reviews31 followers
April 2, 2020
داستانش خیلی بامزه بود ولی همش داشتم فکر می‌کردم بچه‌های هم بامزگیش رو درک می‌کنند یا نه
حتی شاید این طنزی که تو کتاب بود براشون مناسب نباشه.
Profile Image for Cheryl .
9,048 reviews391 followers
June 30, 2017
Oh. Oh my goodness. Read A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals yourself before reading with your child. Then keep a poker face while reading. Then be ready to discuss!

I love it. Technically, it's not my kind of book, but the theme is actually valid, and the particular kind of humor is one that a lot of little kids really appreciate.

I need to have my husband and young adult sons read this.
Profile Image for Caroline.
377 reviews
July 25, 2022
Our daughter asked for the lion book for DAYS!! And every time we read it, she laughed!

This is another book in the same brilliant vein of Jon Klassen (as he praises it on the back cover, "Sheesh.") It's witty, it's clever, it's dark, it's silly, it's surprising, it's a classic.

Profile Image for Abigail.
7,088 reviews181 followers
July 7, 2019
A diverse group of animals, gathered together with a hungry lion, gradually begin to dwindle in number in this humorous picture-book. Have they disappeared into the lion's stomach, as seems likely at first, or is something else responsible for their departure? If the latter, does this signal a happy ending, or is another surprise in store...?

With its pointed and very sharp sense of humor, this debut from Lucy Ruth Cummins reminded me of the work of Jon Klassen, which is fitting, as Klassen's recommendation can be found on the back cover of A Hungry Lion. I enjoyed the surprises here, and the way that the author continually misleads the reader, but suspect that more sensitive young people may not like the conclusion of the tale. I recommend that parents proceed with caution, reading this one first, before giving it to younger children, just to make sure it will suit them. The artwork, done in brush marker, gouache, graphite, charcoal and colored pencil, is absolutely charming, somehow managing to look hastily scribbled and skillfully done all at the same time. It looks very simple, but somehow manages to communicate a real sense of motion, and to capture its characters' various states of emotion. Recommended to anyone who enjoys picture-book fare of the slightly less-than-sweet variety.
Profile Image for Linda .
3,659 reviews40 followers
February 7, 2017
It’s fabulous fun to read and discover exactly what this means by “dwindling” of animals. There are things to see, predictions to make, and surprises waiting on each page of the book. Some may call it a little bloodthirsty, but really it’s all “tongue-in-cheek” and meant for laughter. Illustrations are simple drawings, but don’t ignore the smallest details. Even the expressions change bit by bit.
Profile Image for Mary.
2,538 reviews11 followers
April 24, 2016
This is a dark and twisty picture book about a hungry lion and an assortment of small adorable animals. This may be a little too blood thirsty for young preschoolers but readers who loved I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat will appreciate the macabre humor.
Profile Image for Jillian Heise.
2,272 reviews481 followers
July 27, 2016
I really liked this one - pair it with I Want My Hat Back & This is Not My Hat for a great discussion on how views of a story change as we read on, and to get kids gasping and laughing in disbelief! This one has great sarcasm, and an interesting pov with the narrator.
Profile Image for Alice Ludlow.
33 reviews
November 13, 2018
Love this book. Very witty and plays with the concept of making predictions. Was definitely routing for the turtle the whole time though.
Profile Image for Allison.
547 reviews7 followers
March 30, 2016
There was something oddly charming about this book, despite the abstract artwork and the possibly macabre tone. I think, for older children, this could be a nice bedtime read-aloud. They could use their reasoning skills to figure out which characters have disappeared each page. It's also a good book to work on reading comprehension and whether the child is actively listening and paying attention to the book.
Profile Image for Julie.
1,909 reviews38 followers
November 4, 2016
By the end of the very first page I was smiling! I love the lion with the scruffy looking main and Dracula fangs! I loved the interaction between writer and reader. I also loved that the writer encouraged the reader to use their imagination at strategic points. It's clearly a winner for me!
2,012 reviews
July 9, 2016
Funny, actually surprising (for all ages) and fun illustrations!
Profile Image for Sara Grochowski.
1,142 reviews567 followers
September 18, 2016
Young readers will delight in this slightly sinister tale of a hungry lion and assortment of other (delicious) animals. Plenty of twists to keep readers guessing and gasping in surprise!
Profile Image for Mari.
442 reviews27 followers
January 30, 2017
Darkly hilarious. I love it. And also, have no idea how it would go over in storytime. What do you think, fellow storytime presenters? Have you used this one?
Profile Image for Erin.
81 reviews1 follower
August 7, 2017
This is simultaneously, exactly what you expect and not at all what you expect!
Profile Image for Stefani Sloma.
398 reviews117 followers
April 1, 2016
Dark, hilarious, and definitely for older kids. I totally giggled out loud at the Children's Desk.
Profile Image for Mehsi.
11.6k reviews359 followers
February 26, 2019
Een hilarisch duister prentenboek die ik twee keer heb gelezen achter elkaar. Een keer zelf gelezen, een keer aan mijn verloofde gelezen want hij houdt ook van dit soort prentenboeken. Ontmoet onze hongerige leeuw en de andere dieren om hem heen. Een voor een verdwijnen ze, maar komt dat door onze hongerige leeuw of niet? Ik lag helemaal dubbel terwijl ik las want er kwam steeds weer iets nieuws dat ik niet verwachtte en het einde was helemaal een verrassing. Ook de schrijfstijl was heerlijk. De tekeningen waren leuk gedaan.
Ja, echt een aanrader als je eens wat anders wilt lezen. :)
Profile Image for Mathew.
1,473 reviews171 followers
November 12, 2018
If I could give this six stars, I would. Oh this book is so witty. It's a joy. 'Once upon a time there was a hungry lion...packed into a picturebook with a pile of cutesy little animals. I wonder what will happen next...? The meta-play between narrator's expectations, animal behaviour expectations mixed in with soft, lovable expectations of picturebooks is played with so, so well by Cummins and I adore her for it.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 371 reviews

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