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The Lion Who Had Asthma


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PreS-Gr 2-- Although this title seems drippingly allegorical, the story is actually honest, light, and direct. A fine collaborative effort between author and illustrator, it delivers a believable picture of a preschool boy who has a freewheeling imagination, supportive parents, asthma, and a life that works well. Playing in the bathtub, Sean is a hippo; eating broccoli, he is a giant who crunches trees between his teeth. During an attach of asthma, the lion of his fantasy stops roaring and wheezes, feels tired, and wants to cry. His mother shows up with a nebulizer, but Sean is the one who turns it on, and as he breathes deeply, he becomes a jet pilot. Wescott's clean-looking watercolor-and-ink illustrations take the story's action to places where text would have been limiting, and capture the positive feeling London's tone demands. A preliminary note is frank and encouraging. The expression of relaxation as an important tool for managing illness, and the emphasis on the value of children's natural imagination is simple, strong, and empowering. London also introduces some basic information and terminology. --Liza Bliss, formerly at Leominster Public Library, MA

"Although this title seems drippingly allegorical, the story is actually honest, light, and direct."

School Library Journal

"Westcott's colorful, lightly sketched illustrations deftly express Sean's feelings through his own body language and that of his animal friends."

Kirkus Reviews

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