CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 16. . . .December 20, 2013
Lion is Lost.
David Yerex Williamson.
Norway House, MB: Goldrock Press, 2013.
29 pp., pbk., $14.95.
Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 4-6.
Review by Ellen Heaney.
It is difficult to dash the dreams of an author who has self-published a story clearly representing a labour of love, but this book written and illustrated by David Yerex Williamson has nothing going for it.
Lion is Lost has a familiar plot: a well-loved stuffed animal is the confidante of a fearful child and shares adventures with her. When the toy is left behind at the end of the little girl's first trip away from home (inexplicably, on a bench in front of a grotty-looking diner, although Gillian and family are purportedly catching an airplane), Gillian's world collapses.
Meanwhile, Lion is finding himself uneasy on a city street full of unfamiliar noises and smells. After being picked up by a passing dog, Lion ends up filling same role as he had for Gillian with David, comforting the small boy who has become separated from his mother.
The book ends with Gillian having an episode of extrasensory vision and knowing that, although Lion will not be coming back to her, he is in good hands.
Williamson's writing is awkward:
That spring Gillian and Lion went for many explores in the woods. Lion had never seen trees so tall and handsome but he wasn't sure about the sound the woods made. He was a ferocious but not very big lion.
The storm returned to Gillian's head and her feet tiptoed into her parents' room. She climbed into their bed where all she could do was cry away the rain that collected.
To mention that the colour pencil illustrations are amateurish and that the little book has a price of $14.95 is only to emphasize that Lion is Lost is not recommended for purchase by any library.
Ellen Heaney is a retired children's librarian living in Coquitlam, BC.
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