'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 2 October 2015

Review: Counting Lions

Counting Lions is a large book, and its ten charcoal illustrations are stunning. So realistic, and almost photographic. They are the work of Stephen Walton, a photographer and self-taught artist.

Starting with one lion, we count up to ten with gorillas, giraffes, penguins, Ethiopian wolves and other wild animals. The animals have been specially chosen because they are endangered.

Counting from one to ten with these “portraits from the wild” is accompanied by a series of “poetic text” by Katie Cotton, describing each of the species in their natural environment. For the turtles making their long journey, “The ways of the water are what they know, but soon their flippers will struggle in thick sand as they make painful progress to lay their precious eggs”.

After the counting is complete, there is a kind of glossary with facts and figures about the animals, including their protection status. The book is endorsed by Virginia McKenna from the Born Free Foundation, whose “hope is that this book will awaken a … sense of wonder in all who read it .… (with) the knowledge that animals feel contentment and sadness as we do, protect their young, are sometimes brave and sometimes afraid”.

In my opinion, Counting Lions does just that.

Title: Counting Lions
Author: Katie Cotton
Illustrator: Stephen Walton
Publisher: Frances Lincoln, $27.95 RRP
Publication Date: October 2015
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781847807212
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture book