Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to Scare a Lion

How to Scare a Lion
Dorothy Stephenson ~ John E. Johnson ~ Follett, 1965

I've only seen this man's work once before in What's in the Dark. I originally picked it up because I thought it was Don Madden, but then fell in love all the same. I bought this title recently at a library sale and was glad to be reminded of an illustrator I know exactly zero about. Digging a little deeper, it seems he did another book with Ms. Stephenson entitled The Night It Rained Toys, and judging by the price tag it sports online, it must be pretty memorable. Anyone out there have a copy of this Christmas mystery they wanna guest post about? Now, I'm totally intrigued.

That's said, when a beloved circus lion gets the hiccups from eating too much cotton candy...

Now Fearless Fredrick was not afraid of lions or tigers or leopards. But he was afraid of Leonard's hiccups. Whenever a hiccup came along, Leonard's jaws closed with a loud bang. Frederick was afraid that one of Leonard's hiccups might chop off his head. Something had to be done.

Man, I'd be freaked, too, if I had to stick my head in the mouth of a lion like that. They try everything to get rid of his hiccups. Blowing up balloons, headstands, holding his breathe til his lion face turns blue.

Finally, it's decided that the only way to rid the beast of his problem is to scare the daylights out of him. Shooting him through a cannon? Making him walk the high wire? A very big hiccup needs a very big scare, and sometimes a fear that big can only come from within. Very cute story made all the more adorable by Mr. Johnson's drawings.

If you're out there Purple House Press, hook us up with The Night It Rained Toys... pretty please!

Also by:
What's in the Dark


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Heather said...

This one is a definite hit in our house! I've been asked to read it countless times.

Anonymous said...

I love this site. I have found so many books that I remember from my childhood.....I am moved by your proclamation. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have a copy of "The Night it Rained Toys"! It is a delightful story!I was just surfing and found out how much copies of it are! Please email me at if you would like more information.

kangamasf said...

In third grade, I (a girl) was casted as Santa Claus for a play based on "The Night It Rained Toys" and had at least a dozen lines of dialogue! My beard was drawn and cut out of sheet paper with cotton balls glued all over one side and a piece of yarn attached to each side of the beard to tie it on. I'm not sure why I was picked over any of the boys. I was pudgy not fat and I needed padding for my Santa suit. Oh well. It was the best role I ever had in a play. :)

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