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The Good Lion

by Beryl  Marhkam
Illustrated by Don Brown

Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2005
32 pages
ISBN: 0618563067

Ages 6-9

A story adapted from aviator Beryl Markham’s autobiography, West with the Night, relates a breathtaking incident from her childhood in Africa when she was attacked by a lion. The fully grown male lion named Paddy lives on a neighbor’s land on the edge of the Kikuyu Reserve near Nairobi. He is tame, but young Beryl is always careful around him. One day, she comes upon him by surprise and he begins to follow her. “There was no sound or wind. Even the lion made no sound as he came up swiftly behind me . . . He roared, an immense roar that dissolved me in it.” Beryl is saved by a man who saw the lion stalking her. “He was a good lion, and he had done what he could about being a tame lion. Who thinks it is fair to be judged by a single mistake? I do not begrudge him his moment.” The drama of Markham’s riveting narrative is heightened by Don Brown’s superb watercolor illustrations. (MS) ©2006 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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