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Jim's Lion Hardcover – 8 Oct 2001
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A moving and rousing story about a child under-going a major operation facing his fear and triumphing. Lying in his hospital bed, Jim worries about being put to sleep before his operation. What if the doctors send him somewhere that he can't find his way back from? Nurse Bami says his finder will come looking for him. Everyone has their own finder; Jim just has to find his. And deep in his dreams, he does: a lion. But when the time comes, will Jim's lion be able to find him and bring him safely home?
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My five year old enjoyed it, but wow.... at a whole different level it took my breath away and brought a tear to my eye. A very powerful story. Came to Amazon to buy it right away. This is a book we will keep for years
This is a must for anyone's bookshelf!
The protagonist is in hospital, we aren't told exactly what is wrong, but find out that he's very sick, and needs an operation but that it's risky. A nurse talks to him about how she copes with problems, and the boy uses his own fantasy world to cope with his illness.
I read this thinking "how would I share this with a child?" - a lot of it isn't text but comic-like pictures with no words, with admittedly-clever themes that run into each other and tell a story of Jim starting off feeling scared of his 'lion', and eventually taming it and accepting his help to overcome pain and fear.
Some of it I really didn't know how to interpret, or how I would describe it to a reader, so I would recommend this for older children who can read it for themselves, or who can interpret theh pictures with less parental input, though I would want to read it alongside them.
The operation scene, which we see mostly through Jim's hallucations were quite moving, the ending touching.
It's a book that could be read over the course of a single bedtime, and would, like A Monster Calls, be a story that might be brought out to help a child cope with a hospital stay or illness.
One for slightly older children, I would say ages 7+
"I think that the man who wrote this story must have known a little boy who was going to hospital, and who was feeling scared, and I think he must have written this for that little boy".
When I finished, he asked me to read it to him again, and then fell asleep on the final page. Anecdotal evidence maybe, but good enough for this dad.
This book is a very special combination of a moving story (that happens to illustrate, in child's terms, a great technique for dealing with fear) and lovingly large and beautiful illustrations.
I really care about good children's books, but this is the first time I've felt that five stars weren't enough, for something that's rather more than just a good book. I'll be returning my copy to the library where maybe someone who needs it more will find it. But please bring it back into print.
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