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A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  1,634 ratings  ·  354 reviews
Once upon a time there was a very hungry lion and some adorable little animals...

What do you think happened next?
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 15th 2016 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,634 ratings  ·  354 reviews

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May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
A fun read that keeps you guessing. The ending provides a sense of satisfaction as karma comes calling.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 h ...more
Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf)
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
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
Dave Schaafsma
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
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
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Aug 27, 2016 marked it as books-i-own-but-haven-t-read-yet
Shelves: for-nuggets
B/c that title.


Totally got it for my nephews.
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Animals extremely cute, especially when they're dressed up for the party -- I didn't expect the shocking twist at the end! ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-enjoy-again
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.

(view spoiler)
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Brilliant, fun, and surprising, this book shines with humor and smarts. This is one of those stories where kids will feel in on the joke and in on the fun -- there's a sweetly subversive quality to it that speaks directly to how children view the world. This'll make a great storytime read for sure, though the kids who get to see this up-close-on-their-laps will revel in the subtle and lovely details of Cummins's illustrations. ...more
It can't be easy to get a plot twist into a 32-page picture book, but lots of picture books manage it. TWO twists?? Twists that make ME, a serious adult superconsumer of picture books, raise both eyebrows in surprise??? GENIUS. ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Slightly Less-Than-Sweet Picture-Book Fare
Shelves: picture-books
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 rec
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.
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
Jillian Heise
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.
Edward Sullivan
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Delightfully dark and droll.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Cybils finalist for best fiction picture book.
Alice Ludlow
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ks1, animals, food
Love this book. Very witty and plays with the concept of making predictions. Was definitely routing for the turtle the whole time though.
Ashley Adams
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, children
Never trust a hungry carnivore!
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. ...more
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
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! ...more
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-and-g
Funny, actually surprising (for all ages) and fun illustrations!
Sara Grochowski
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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!
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Such a smart and darkly funny book! I loved it!
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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?
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
This is simultaneously, exactly what you expect and not at all what you expect!
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My new favorite book for teaching inference to elementary age kids!
Elle Gainer
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytime
This book is hilarious and dark but I would be hesitant to do it for a storytime.
Stefani Sloma
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dark, hilarious, and definitely for older kids. I totally giggled out loud at the Children's Desk. ...more
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. ...more
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I honestly can't decide my reaction to this's surprising...I felt like cheering in the middle! It's impressive that Cummins is able to pull off such great surprises. I would like to see how kids react to this book. While the illustrations aren't in my favorite style, they really do work well and add to the (dark) humor of the story.

A twist on a twist, with another twist. Interesting. I think older kids will find it funny. I don't know how well it would go in preschool storytime--they don't always do so well with creatures being eaten (unless it's monkeys and Mr. Alligator). I suppose best to save for a K-5 storytime. ...more
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