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Lions: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about lions?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to lions. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about lions.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about lions, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Library Lion to popular sellers like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Lion Inside.

We hope this list of kids books about lions can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Lionheart
Written & illustrated by Richard Collingridge
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Richard hears something in his room before bedtime. Is it a monster? He doesn’t wait to find out and sets off running through the streets, over the hills, through the forest, and into the fields until he finds himself in a magical jungle. With the help of his stuffed lion Lionheart, Richard finds the courage he needs to face his fears.

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Lionel and Molly: Colors
Written by Joanna Lake & illustrated by Jess Racklyeft
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Introducing Lionel and Molly–two best friends exploring the world around them in this touch and feel concept board book. Lionel the lion and Molly the mouse are best friends who love exploring the world together. Join them as they discover the colors and beauty of the seasons, like the bright yellow sun in the summer and big blue rain puddles in the spring.

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Written by C. S. Lewis & illustrated by Pauline Baynes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

Open the door and enter a new world! The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in C. S. Lewis’s classic fantasy series, which has been captivating readers of all ages with a magical land and unforgettable characters for over sixty years.

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Library Lion
Written by Michelle Knudsen & illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There are no rules about lions in the library. When something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how.

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Caring for Your Lion
Written by Tammi Sauer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

We know you ordered a kitten, but we ran out of those. SURPRISE: you’re the new owner of a lion! Fortunately, the big cat comes with instructions like, try very hard NOT to look like a zebra. And give your lion PLENTY of space to play. But when the feathers and fur start flying and everything s in chaos, can a lion be a child s purr-fect pet?”

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  • Henry & Leo - Leo isn t just a stuffed toy, he is Henry s best friend and brother. He is as real as a tree, a cloud, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the wind. But when the two are accidentally separated, no one in Henry sfamily believes Leo is real enough to find his way home. With beautiful mixed-media paintings, the Caldecott Honor winning artist Pamela Zagarenski explores the transcendent nature of friendship and love.”

  • The Lion Inside - “That day they BOTH learned That, no matter your size, We all have a mouse AND a lion inside.” A mouse feels small and insecure and determines that what he needs to do is learn how to roar like a lion. He knows he has to act brave when he approaches a lion to learn how. In a hilarious turn of events, the lion is afraid of mice! The mouse comforts the lion, they become friends, and we learn that there’s a lion and a mouse inside all of us. The inspiring text by Rachel Bright and the fun, bold illustrations by Jim Field teach young readers an important lesson. Regardless of how big or mighty we are, we can all live our dreams and do what we want to do. Fans of Aesop’s “The Lion and the Mouse” will enjoy The Lion Inside!

  • When Your Lion Needs a Bath - When your lion needs a bath, you have to be pretty sneaky! This charming and hilarious board book highlights the many ways to get your lion into that tub! Does your lion need a bath? When your lion needs a bath, you must be a little sneaky. After all, have you ever met a cat who likes water? So gather up your towels and rubber ducks and get that lion into the tub! But be careful…or you just might end up in the bath, too!

  • Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion - Little Red sets off to visit her auntie who is poorly. She walks under the giraffes, over the sleepy crocodiles, past the enormous elephants and the chattering monkeys. Then a Very Hungry Lion approaches Little Red, wanting to gobble her up. But despite all the cunning plans by Lion, Little Red outsmarts him and soon has him saying sorry and eating doughnuts instead.

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Disney: The Lion King
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Follow along with Simba on his adventure in the Pride Lands in this die-cut Disney classic!

When Simba the lion cub prince is banished from the Pride Lands by his evil Uncle Scar, he thinks he will never be able to return and fulfill his destiny of becoming King of Pride Rock. Soon he befriends the warthog Pumbaa and the meerkat Timon, and they begin a bold journey. Beautifully illustrated on every page, this classic Disney storybook is sure to become a favorite in any beginning library. It makes an excellent first reader for young children.

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Lionel and the Lion's Share
Written by Lou Peacock & illustrated by Lisa Sheehan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Lion the lion does NOT like to share. After all, lions always get the lion’s share. He buys all the best instruments from the music ship, all the smartest hats from the hat shop and all the brightest balloons from the balloon stall. But at Chloe’s birthday party Lionel goes too far and eats ALL the cake.

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Squishy Squashy Lion
Written & illustrated by Jenny Copper
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Squish and squash the lion as you read the rhyming story and discover all the things that Lion loves to do. Perfect for interactive play, for shared reading or for reading alone, these delightful, touchable books are full of fun!

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Sun Flower Lion
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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Say What?
Written by Angela DiTerlizzi & illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

With an interactive text and bright, playful illustrations, explore what baby animals really mean when they make their adorable baby animal sounds. When a lion says ROAR, does he really mean MORE? When a cow says MOO, does she really mean YOU? How do we know what animals say when they say what they say with their sounds everyday? With an interactive text and bright, playful illustrations, Angela DiTerlizzi and Joey Chou explore what baby animals really mean when they make their adorable baby animal sounds.

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  • Roary the Lion Roars Too Loud - Help little ones learn how to use their inside voices with this second story in the brand-new Wee Beasties series from New York Times bestselling author Ame Dyckman. Roary the Lion loves to roar. The only problem is, he roars WAY too loud. WAIT! Can you show Roary how to be quiet? Wee Beasties is a new board book series from New York Times bestselling author, Ame Dyckman, featuring silly animals doing the things they love just a little TOO much. In this second book in the series about Roary the Lion and his big outside roar, little ones will learn how to use their quiet inside voices.

  • Lion Lessons - There are seven steps to becoming a proper lion, including Looking Fierce, Roaring, Prowling Around, and Pouncing. Our young hero, a rather meek and scrawny human boy, does his best to learn the necessary skills during his training with a master instructor (who just happens to be a real lion). After a grueling set of lessons, the boy discovers that that the final step—Looking Out for Your Friends—is the most important of all. That’s how any kid can earn his lion diploma (not to mention the affection of every cat in town).

  • Lionel and Molly: Opposites - Introducing Lionel and Molly–two best friends exploring the world around them in this touch and feel concept board book. Lionel the lion and Molly the mouse are best friends who love exploring the world together. Join them as they discover the concept of opposites by comparing themselves to each other. Lionel is big and loud, while Molly is quiet and small.

  • Disney's the Lion King -

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Bravelands #4: Shifting Shadows
Written by Erin Hunter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Set in the African savannah and told from three different animals’ points of view, Bravelands will thrill readers who love Spirit Animals and Wings of Fire, as well as the fans who’ve made Erin Hunter a #1 nationally bestselling phenomenon. A false leader has been destroyed—but Bravelands is still in grave danger. Stinger’s death should have brought peace to the land; but no Great Parent has stepped forward, and now the fate of Bravelands hangs in the balance. With a mysterious threat lurking in their midst, all members of the Great Herd must find the strength to walk the right path or risk the end of Bravelands forever.

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Lion Down
Written by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Teddy Fitzroy returns as FunJungle’s resident sleuth when a lion is falsely accused of killing a distinguished dog in the latest novel in New York Times bestselling author Stuart Gibbs’s FunJungle series.

For once, operations at the enormous zoo/theme park appear to be running smoothly (except for the occasional herring-related mishap in the penguin exhibit) and Teddy Fitzroy is finally able to give detective work a rest. But then a local lion is accused of killing a famous dog—and the dog’s owner, an inflammatory radio host, goes on a crusade to have the cat declared a nuisance so it can be hunted. But it looks like the lion might have been framed, and a renegade animal activist wants Teddy and Summer to help prove it. Soon, Teddy finds himself wrapped up in the middle of his most bizarre, hilarious, and dangerous case yet.

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A Hungry Lion, Or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals
Written & illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Members of a large group of animals, including a penguin, two rabbits, and a koala, disappear at an alarming rate but the hungry lion remains.

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Lizzy the Lioness
Written by & illustrated by Kirsteen Harris-Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is ask for help! Encourage your little ones with the true meaning of bravery through the beautiful story of Lizzy the Lioness by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Bevere.

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I Thought I Saw a Lion!
Written by Templar Books & illustrated by Lydia Nichols
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Hide-and-seek fun with sturdy sliders! This silly but stylish slider book is sure to give little ones a giggle. They’ll love joining in a game of hide-and-seek as they move the sliders to reveal the lion hiding in every scene. Is it in the restaurant? Or at the beauty salon? Just push the slider to find out! With beautiful artwork from Lydia Nichols, the whole family will enjoy reading and playing with this fresh new novelty series.

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  • Lion vs. Tiger - What would happen if a lion and a tiger met each other? What if they were both hungry? What if they had a fight? Who do you think would win?<br /><br /><br />

  • Renato and the Lion - The touching, magical story of a boy in a war-torn country and the stone lion that rescues him. Renato loves his home in Florence, Italy. He loves playing with his friends in the Piazza della Signoria. He loves walking home by the beautiful buildings and fountains with his father in the evenings. And he especially loves the stone lion who seems to smile at him from a pedestal in the piazza. The lion makes him feel safe. But one day his father tells him that their family must leave. Their country is at war, and they will be safer in America. Renato can only think of his lion. Who will keep him safe? With luminous watercolor paintings, Barbara DiLorenzo captures the beauty of Florence in this heartwarming and ultimately magical picture book.

  • Johnny Lion's Book - Alone with a book

  • Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back - Shel Silverstein’s first children’s book, _Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back_—a whimsical tale of self-discovery and marshmallows—is turning fifty with a return to the vintage full-color cover. Is a famous, successful, and admired lion a happy lion? Or is he a lion at all? Written and drawn with wit and gusto, Shel Silverstein’s modern fable speaks not only to children but to us all! First published in 1963, this book had rave reviews from the New York Times, Time magazine, and Publishers Weekly, as well as a starred review from Kirkus. Now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, Lafcadio is being reissued with a full-color cover featuring vintage art from Shel Silverstein discovered in the archives. Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back is the book that started Shel Silverstein’s incomparable career as a bestselling children’s book author and illustrator. He is also the creator of picture books such as A Giraffe and a Half, Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?, The Missing Piece, The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, and the perennial favorite The Giving Tree and of classic poetry collections such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, Every Thing On It, Don’t Bump the Glump!, and Runny Babbit. And don’t miss Runny Babbit Returns, the new bookk from Shel Silverstein!

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Lost in the Library
Written by Josh Funk & illustrated by Stevie Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Steadfast Fortitude and curious Patience are waiting every morning to greet visitors of the Library.

That is until, one early morning, when Fortitude finds Patience is missing. The city is about to awake, and the lions absolutely must be in their places before the sun rises. Now, Fortitude must abandon his own post to find his best friend in the Library’s labyrinthine halls.

With Josh Funk’s clever rhymes and Stevie Lewis’ vibrant art, Lost in the Library introduces young readers to a pair of unforgettable lions, as well as the famed New York Public Library, and includes bonus material loaded with facts about Patience, Fortitude, and the NYPL’s history.

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How to Be a Lion
Written & illustrated by Ed Vere
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In this timely and charming story about the importance of being true to yourself, mindfulness, and standing by your friends, we meet Leonard, a lion, and his best friend Marianne, a… duck. Leonard and Marianne have a happy life together—talking, playing, writing poems, and making wishes—until one day a pack of bullies questions whether it’s right for a lion and a duck to be pals. Leonard soon learns there are many ways to be a lion, and many ways to be a friend, and that sometimes finding just the right words can change the world…

This sweet, funny, thoughtful, and much-needed story will open up readers’ eyes to the importance of being who they are and not backing down to hurtful criticism. It’s an empowering tale about connecting with others and choosing kindness over bullying, and shows children how angry and provocative words can be overcome by empathy and courage.

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That's Not My Lion...
Written by Fiona Watt
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
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10 Reasons to Love... a Lion
Written by Catherine Barr & illustrated by Hanako Clulow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Lions are the only big cat to live in groups, have the loudest roar and the most magnificent manes. Turn the pages of this giftable series to find 10 reasons to love lions, and five ways you can show you care.

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Snow Lion
Written by Jim Helmore & illustrated by Richard Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A beautiful, reassuring story with a gentle touch of magic<br>After moving to a new home, Caro wishes she had a friend, but she’s too shy to meet the neighborhood kids. With a little imagination, however, Caro finds the Snow Lion. Together, they have all kinds of fun racing, climbing, and playing hide-and-seek. But when the boy next door asks Caro to come play, Caro isn’t so sure. Then, the Snow Lion has an idea! Making new friends isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it in the end.<br>This powerful but gentle story about making new friends is gorgeously illustrated to celebrate the magic and imagination that fills every page and will appeal to any shy or lonely young reader.

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  • Andy and the Lion - A Caldecott Honor Book

  • The Night Library - The Polar Express meets The Night at the Museum in this fantastical picture-book adventure about the magic of books and libraries, perfect for book lovers of all ages! After a young boy goes to sleep upset that he’s getting a book for his birthday, he’s visited in the night by Patience and Fortitude, the two stone lions who guard the New York Public Library. Soon, he’s magically whisked away from his cozy home in the Bronx, and the two mighty lions show him the wonder of the library. There, the inquisitive Latino boy discovers the power of books and their role not only in his own life, but also in the lives of the people he loves. Raul Colon’s gorgeous, rich art creates an immersive world in this book about books, which is sure to capture the imaginations of kids and adults and inspire them to grab their library cards and dive into the worlds of stories.

  • The Lion and the Mouse, Narrated by the Timid But Truthful Mouse - She’s always been the “invisible” twin, but when her sister reneges on a promise to the king of beasts, a timid mouse chews her way into the spotlight. This sweet, fractured twist on a classic Aesop’s fable, told from the mouse’s point of view, celebrates kindness and bravery of all sizes. Includes a condensed version of the original tale.

  • Lucas at the Paralympics - Introduce your child to the Paralympics–where physically disabled world-class athletes exemplify strength, determination, and courage. Lucas and Eddie, two physically disabled friends, visit the Paralympics and cheer on blind and physically challenged athletes as they compete in running, swimming, sitting volleyball, para archery, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair basketball, and more. Readers learn about some of the rules that expedite play and that even the playing field. For example, blind runners wear blindfolds so none of the competitors (some totally blind and some with limited sight) have an unfair advantage. Also, all of the blind competitors are tethered to guides. Author Igor Plohl, who lost the use of his legs after a spinal injury, is a teacher and passionate advocate for raising awareness of physical disability. As a teacher, he knows the questions children ask and how to answer them.

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A Lion in Paris
Written & illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Bored by his rural life in the savannah, a lion seeks excitement and opportunity in the City of Light, where he is surprised that even his roaring does not cause a stir while visiting Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower and the busy underground Métro. By the award-winning creator of Bugs in a Blanket.

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Owls are Good at Keeping Secrets: An Unusual Alphabet
Written by Sara O'Leary & illustrated by Jacob Grant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A delightful book of curious, little-known “facts” about animals–one for each letter of the alphabet!

Did you know that chipmunks love to stay up past their bedtime? Or that dragons cry at happy endings? I bet you’d never have guessed that iguanas sometimes get homesick at sleepovers.

Sara O’Leary pulls back the curtain on the animal world and gives us an absolutely charming little one-line “fact” about one animal for each letter of the alphabet. Kids will love to see their own quirks reflected in these adorably rendered creatures, and perhaps will be comforted to know that–just like them–narwhals can be perfectly happy all on their own and quail also get tired of being told to be quiet.

This is more than just an alphabet book. It’s a charming, hilarious, and touching look at the diversity of personalities in the world–worth many, many rereads.

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The Mystery of the Missing Lion
Written & illustrated by Alexander McCall Smith
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Staying with Aunty Bee at a safari camp in the Botswana countryside where a film crew is making a movie about a lion, nine-year-old Precious Ramotswe and her resourceful new friend Khumo use their detective skills to find the movie star lion when he goesmissing.

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The Magic Bojabi Tree
Written by Dianne Hofmeyr & illustrated by Piet Grobler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Python has wrapped himself around the melon/mango/pomegranate tree with its delicious fruit, and he won’t share the fruit unless the animals can tell him the correct name of the tree. Elephant, Monkey and Zebra each in turn visit Lion, who alone knows the name of the tree. But every time, the animals forget the name on the journey back to the tree. Then Tortoise, the slowest, smallest animal goes to Lion - and sings a special song to remind him of the name. It is the Bojabi Tree! Python unwraps himself from the trunk, and all the animals share a feast.

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Bug Stew!
Written by Bonnie Worth & illustrated by Christopher Moroney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-6

In this original story based on Disney’s” The Lion King,” ever-hungry Timon and Pumbaa entice Simba to go on a fun bug hunt.

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  • Rabbit Cooks Up a Cunning Plan! - The animals of the forest cook meals for Mountain Lion so he won’t eat them, but when it is Rabbit’s turn to cook, he devises a plan instead to get rid of Lion for good.

  • Walk with Me - A deceptively simple, imaginative story depicting the complex emotional reality of a girl whose father no longer lives at home. <p/>The girl conjures up an imaginary companion, a lion, who will come with her on the long walk home from school. He will help her to pick up her baby brother from daycare and shop at the store (which has cut off the family’s credit), and he’ll keep her company all along the way until she is safe at home. He will always come back when she needs him, unlike the father whom she sees only in a photograph – a photograph in which he clearly resembles a lion.<br>

  • The Best Sound in the World - “Simply charming” – The Sun Roy is a lion and a sound catcher. He catches the sounds of the city and makes them into music, trying to avoid the annoying attentions of his neighbor, Jemmy. Feeling like his music isn’t good enough, Roy goes on a journey to find the best sound in the world for inspiration. He hears the pitter-patter of the rain in the forest, the wind whistling through the desert, and the hustle and bustle of the souk at sunrise, but none of it helps—he can’t decide which is the best sound. Just as he’s about to give up, he hears a familiar voice . . . can Jemmy teach him that perhaps there are lots of beautiful sounds, not just one, and that for Jemmy, Roy’s music is the best of all? This gorgeous debut picture book is a heart-warming tribute to the power of friendship.

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