Today we look at a real Lion King. Tomorrow I’ll announce the winner of a copy of Miranda Paul’s 10 Little Ninjas. You’ve got a few more hours to leave a comment and be eligible for the drawing.
Title: Cecil’s Pride, The True Story of a Lion King
Told by: Craig Hatkoff, Juliana Hatkoff, and Isabella Hatkoff
Photographs by: Brent Stapelkamp
Scholastic, 2016, nonfiction
Suitable for ages: 4-8 (and higher)
Themes/topics: lions, Africa, endangered species
Lions have always been a symbol of strength and courage. They are known as the king of beasts, but only one lion king became known by everyone. His name was Cecil.
Brief synopsis (from barnesandnoble.com)
Known as the King of Beasts, the lion has always been a symbol of strength and courage. But there was one real lion that earned the title of Lion King. He was known simply by name: Cecil. News of his tragic death spread across the globe like wildfire, raising questions to an unprecedented level about our relationship to our animals and our planet.
Cecil’s Pride is a tale of resilience and responsibility–a triumph out of tragedy. Discover Cecil’s struggle as a young lion to survive, his rise to power, and his extraordinary alliance with Jericho, his former arch-rival. Cecil is gone, but his legacy lives on. The world knows the story of how Cecil died. This is the story of how he lived.
Activities and Resources:
Scholastic Reads: a conversation with Craig Hatkoff and his daughter Isabella about Cecil’s Pride
Learn about Brent Stapelkamp’s work
Scholastic page on Endangered Species
San Diego Zoo curriculum page
Kids Discover: Baby Animals: A Science Lesson
Why I like this book:
Though the text is longer than most picture books, it is chock full of fascinating information. Researcher and photographer, Brent Stapelcamp, has been tracking the lions of Hwange National Park using GPS for years. He knows them so well he’s able to distinguish each one by their whisker spots. Readers will learn about the social interactions of lions, family relationships, territory, and the amazing partnership of two male lions who were once rivals. Cecil’s death made headlines and focused the world’s attention on illegal hunting of endangered species. The authors share what Brent learned about Cecil’s life. Jericho, the lion that teamed up with Cecil and protected his family, has much to teach us as well. As the authors say, “We are all our brother’s keeper.” The beautiful photographs and interesting text will surely engage young children and bring a special appreciation for the king of beasts.
Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent resources.