The Butterfly Lion – Michael Morpurgo (ages 8 – 10) What’s it about? This is the touching story of a young boy (Bertie) who rescues an orphaned white lion cub from the African bush. The lion becomes his best friend and they remain inseparable until Bertie is sent to boarding school in England and the lion is sold to a French circus but not before Bertie promises to find him again. Bertie grows up and the war years intervene. Now a soldier in France during WWI, Bertie tracks the lion down and brings him back to England where the lion eventually dies of old age.

Review this book: I read this book with my eight year old son who is a prolific reader and who no doubt could have attempted to read it himself. Having said that, because of some of the themes explored in the book,

I’m glad we shared it together as I was able to explain some of the subtleties of the story. Readers in Years 5 and 6 will no doubt also enjoy the book as an independent read.

It was a happy yet moving story which we both enjoyed and a good introduction to some more ‘mature’ themes which slightly older children will appreciate. A book about friendship, loyalty and keeping promises and beautifully written as always from Michael Morpurgo. Just remember the tissues!

LM, Bristol

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