Beautiful Minimalism

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

This is a beautifully illustrated book. Despite the minimal text, it tells a wonderful story of friendship between a lion and a bird.

This book deals with some important and relevant themes about emotion – a great teaching tool for young children when dealing with friendship, happiness, loss and loneliness.

Available for purchase at Angus & Roberston and to borrow at Yarra Plenty Regional Libraries (Check your own local libraries too!).


“One autumn day, a lion finds a wounded bird in his garden. With the departure of the bird’s flock, the lion decides that it’s up to him to care for the bird. He does and the two become fast friends. Nevertheless, the bird departs with his flock the following autumn. What will become of Lion and what will become of their friendship?”

This book is best suited for preschool and early school age children.

What I love about this book

The illustrations in this book are magnificent and do the most part of conveying the story. Many of the pages contain illustrations only. Some pages are even intentionally blank. Where there is text, it is minimal,  but powerful.

I started reading this book to my daughter a bit too young (ie toddler age). I did find the lack of text a bit tedious at this stage. I had to keep flicking through pages to get to reading the story to her and she didn’t have the attention span to appreciate the pauses in the story. However, being a bit older, storytime with this book is much more enjoyable.

The blank spaces offer appropriately placed opportunity to discuss the complex emotions with which the book deals. It also offers space to discuss what is happening in each illustration without really distracting from the story itself. Each time we read this story it changes a little – it allows flexibility in the storytelling to adjust to the needs of the child who is listening.

A very cleverly arranged book.

Storytime Tips and Activities

  • Read the book in its entirety first without stopping, then take time to pause at the blank spaces for the subsequent reads. This book needs a couple of reads to be effective.
  • Talk about what the child sees in the illustrations as you go – fill in the blanks with your own story to accompany the text.
  • Talk about the seasons that you see changing throughout the story – what is happening here?
  • Talk about how each of the characters may be feeling and why. Draw this back to some of your own child’s experiences.


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