In Jane Porter’s newest title, Pink Lion, the titular creature – Arnold by name – lives with his surrogate family of flamingos in a large watering hole. Quite how Arnold has come to be part of this arrangement is never fully explained to us, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter – his family love and accept him despite the difference in species, and he has great fun playing games with them each day. His idyllic existence with his adopted feathered clan is disrupted by a passing pride of lions, who point out that, apart from the rosy hue of his fur, he looks just like them. They convince him to tag along with them in an effort to teach them how to be a lion, but he finds he struggles to keep up with them – particularly when it comes to roaring. Then his old family have their watering hole invaded by a crocodile, and ultimately Arnold has to save the day.
This is an utterly charming book from a well-established name in illustration about finding your place in the world and who you’re meant to be. Arnold is a lovable character and has potential to become an iconic name in children’s picture books. His efforts to fit in with his new found feline cousins prove amusing, particularly when trying to wash himself with his own tongue for the first time. His closeness with the flamingos is as well developed as it can be in such a short book, but equally so are his efforts to fit in with the pride of lions who are so convinced that he belongs to them.
Overall, Pink Lion is a sweet and enjoyable tale that your child will want to enjoy over and over again.
Images courtesy of Walker Books, who have published Pink Lion by Jane Porter.
Pink Lion was published by Walker Books on 6th July 2017.