“There are some children’s picture books that, when you hold them in your hands, fill you with great promise, and this is one that delivered its promise.

From the moment I snuggled with my 17 month old grandson and we settled, ready for this story, I could tell the book’s cover had captivated his attention. Once I began to share the story with him, he was entranced.

The book cover is a classic illustration with real vintage tones. Illustrator Briony Stewart used coloured pencils to achieve her gorgeous illustrations and show the softness and texture of each picture. There are many hidden images on each page and my grandson particularly enjoyed pointing out the hints of lions on the pages, including the shadows.

Author, Emma Middleton’s use of natural rhythmical and rhyming text is an absolute delight to hear and begs to be read aloud. The text is light, witty and playful. It charms, captivates and entices young readers, ‘Will he come? Won’t he come? Will he come and play?’ It teases, beckons and leads the reader on a gentle story about a beautiful relationship between a father and his children, Tilly and Tom.

I highly recommend this Children’s Picture Book for younger children. This is a book that provides an opportunity to open up discussions about dads and their kids, and it also could be used as a springboard into some fun arts and crafts, songs and games.” – Deb Smith


“An enchanting story about the fun and imaginative play of families. My students loved finding all the hidden lions in the illustrations (there is more than you think), the rhyme and the repeating refrain, “Will he come? Won’t he come? Will he come and play? Will the mighty lion come and play with us today?” A must-read for anyone, but would be a great gift for Father’s Day. A follow-up book would be a treat.” – Rebecca Sheraton
“My children love this beautifully written, rhyming picture book. They enjoyed the suspense over the lion’s arrival, and enjoy looking for all the hidden lion clues in the illustrations. I highly recommend this book for its sense of fun imaginative play and to depiction of family love.” – Peter Martin


“There are no blood-sucking vampires or devilish monsters lurking on the pages of this debut picture book by erstwhile illustrator, Emma Middleton. Or are there? Middleton’s lilting prose creates a teasing sense of expectation in this playful story about the relationship between a father and his two young children.

Warm and fuzzy in its delivery, this tale takes little ones on an enticing adventure laced with the prospect of play. They quiver with anticipation and feign fear as they wait in hope for the lion to appear. When he finally does, it’s all about bedtime stories and snuggles.

Stewart’s pencil drawn illustrations are subtle and light portraying every minute of this rip-roaring adventure and all the golden secretive moments with splendid humour. The visual narrative is loaded with hidden images, clues and connections to the children’s fun-loving lion. I especially love the references to imaginative play and art and craft. This is a beautiful book to share, ideal for interactive reading fun and crafting for pre-schoolers, and their fun loving Dads!” – Dimity Powell, Boomerang Books Blog