Have you been wondering how to teach your children to properly appreciate macabre humor? If so, A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins is the answer to your prayers. This hilarious book is the previously-missing first rung on the ladder to Lemony Snicket and the Coen brothers. It is a darling piece of metafiction that combines voice and visual humor to create surprises that will make you groan and chuckle at the same time.
I don’t want to say too much about this book and spoil it, but I will add just one read aloud tip. This is a great book with which to model questioning as a comprehension strategy. Start by asking about the contrast between the front cover and the back cover (or slip off the dust jacket and take a look at the pared-down cover beneath). If you start with a simple, “Hmmm. I wonder why the author drew a lion on the front and a turtle on the back,” you will be setting the stage for understanding and deeper enjoyment.
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