It has been a wonderful experience meeting so many fathers and witnessing their response to The Lion in our Living Room; a book that celebrates fathers, their involvement with their children, the games they play, and the quiet moments spent together. The mighty lion is of course, really dad.
Many fathers can relate to the boisterous games depicted in the book; lion rides, piggybacks and hide and seek. At the same time, they respond to the image of the father reading to his children late at night. One father proudly told me, ‘That’s just like me, I’m the one who reads to our kids at night,’ and I am glad to say that I have heard this comment on numerous occasions. In fact, recent research shows that the benefits of fathers reading to their children are even higher than hearing their mother’s voice read, for reasons that we don’t yet understand. Perhaps it is simply the contrast or the deeper tone?
Of course, The Lion in our Living Room pays homage to my father and the interactions I observed with my own children. A particular story comes to mind, where they would set up imaginary scenarios and wait with nervous anticipation at the door for an exciting visitor. The visitor wasn’t a lion, but this game spawned the initial idea for the story. I hope that by sharing The Lion in our Living Room, new generations are inspired to have lots of roaring fun with their daddy lion, cementing this invaluable bond and encouraging these games to continue in generations to come.