“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
“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
In this delightful and playful picture book by Australian talents Emma Middleton and Briony Stewart, two young siblings, Tom and Tilly, eagerly await the arrival of a lion.
Will he come? Won’t he come? Will he come and play?
Will the mighty lion come and play with us today?
Tom and Tilly excitedly wait. They search the house in case the lion is hiding. Dad says he’s off for a nap, and then…
A thump, a crunch and a roar, and the mighty lion comes though the door.
Of course, the lion is really Dad playing. Tom and Tilly enjoy lion rides, play chases and have loving lion cuddles.
I adore this book for so many reasons.
Firstly, the story is just wonderfully fun to read. Written in beautifully flowing rhyme, with engaging repetition, it’s got a bouncy and addictive rhythm that makes it perfect to read aloud. Perfect for reading to groups, too.
The illustrations by Briony Stewart are stunning. Detailed and softly coloured, the pictures are full of life, and they invite you into this family’s world, making you feel like you’re part of it. These are illustrations with magic powers. They’ll make you feel all warm inside and entice your hands to touch all the pages.
And then there are the beautiful themes: love, family and the special bond between kids and their fathers. I love how this picture book shines a light on dads and the unique kind of adventurous fun they seem to be so good at.
The Lion in our Living Room is a gorgeous picture book both children and adults will enjoy. Fun and engaging to read with divine illustrations, it will make you smile and spark ideas for new games to play with Dad (if the kids haven’t already played them!) – Shaye Wardrop