Monday, September 14, 2009

Guest Review: A Lion Called Christian by Anthony Bourke and John Rendall, as reviewed by Joylyn

Back in the 70’s, two young men from Australia traveled to England. While in London, they did all the tourist attractions, and one day, after visiting the Tower, they decided to go on to visit Harrods the legendary store, where you could supposedly be supplied with any request. (One such request for a camel was parried with the question by the store representative, “Would that be with one hump or two, sir?”) While at Harrods, they checked out the pet department, and fell in love with one of the lion cubs on display.

They ended up buying him, naming him Christian, and spending the next few months in caring for him, dealing with all the obstacles that came with having a pet lion, and worrying about what would become of him when he grew too big to keep as a pet. By extreme good luck, they connected with two of the stars of the movie “Born Free”, who were interested in returning exotic animals to their natural habitat, especially lions.

This book covers the months in London, the weeks in Africa with George Adamson, who agreed to form a man-made pride including Christian, and also the two later visits the two young men made to see if Christian remembered them.

This is a gripping book, with a large selection of black-and-white and colored pictures, and an easy style that is informing and entertaining.

And for a tear-jerking video of Christian and his humans:

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