Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

A Hungry Lion, or, a Dwindling Assortment of Animals

Cummins, Lucy Ruth (Author/Illustrator)
Simon & Schuster 2016. 36 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9781481448895 (hardcover)
9781481448901 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character

Award

Governor General’s Literary Award – Finalist – 2016

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

The opening page of this fast-paced, humorous story introduces a “hungry lion” and a large selection of animals including a calico kitten, a bunny with un-floppy ears, a pig and “a slightly bigger pig,” among many others. As the pages go on, there remain fewer and fewer animals.

As the animals disappear, the text, which is written in a relaxed speech-style, begins again with “once upon a time” and lists the remaining animals, until there are only three: “Umm … I guess Once upon a time there was just a hungry lion and a dwindling assortment of other animals.” And when the animals are completely gone, “Hello, there … Excuse me—where did everybody go …?”

The illustrations are rendered in an eclectic combination of brush marker, gouache, graphite, coloured pencil and charcoal. The animals have rudimentary shapes and black outlines that are not entirely filled in. One two-page illustration shows only the lion’s face, his eyebrows slanted in, looking furious.

After two pages of blackness, lion turns on the lights to reveal all the animals in party hats, dancing and chatting beside a “four-tiered cake with buttercream frosting.” Then the lights go out again. The next page shows empty party hats, an untouched cake and a “less hungry lion.”

  •  

    Make predictions. Once you have read the page with “Umm,” predict what will happen in the story.

  •  

    Observe the lion as it is depicted in various parts of the story. Are there enough signs to truly understand who he is, or are readers building an impression of him based on background knowledge about lions? Discuss what this tells us about judging others.

  •  

    How would you change the ending? At the point where the birthday cake is revealed, write a new, non-violent ending to the story.

  •  

    Observe the lion who is looking up at the T-Rex. What is the dinosaur feeling? In your reader-writer’s notebook, write a conversation between the lion and the T-Rex. You may want to have the story end differently at this point.

  •  

    Make predictions. Once you have read the page with “Umm,” predict what will happen in the story.

  •  

    Observe the lion as he is depicted in various parts of the story. Are there enough signs to truly understand who he is, or are readers building an impression of him based on background knowledge about lions? Discuss what this tells us about judging others.

  •  How would you celebrate the lion’s birthday? Create a plan that includes guests, food, drinks, activities and loot bags.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Ethics and Religious Culture