Book review: The Lawrence Lions by Clare Blackmore

Ask your local bookshop about ordering this book.

The Lawrence Lions is based on a true story about two lions that escaped from a circus in Lawrence, Otago in 1978. The book tells the story of how Sultan and Sonia go walking through the town, past lots of people and houses. A vet and policeman come after them to try and catch them to protect the town.

The story is very nice and interesting. We like lions and all animals. But the story doesn’t have a happy ending for the lions who get shot dead. We liked the pictures in the book. They look like they’d been done in crayons or pencils.

We liked the story, up until the ending which was very sad. It is a very good story but we think parents should read the end first to see if they think their children will get too sad. “I don’t really like it at the end” says George. “It was mean – but I didn’t cry.”

We wish it had a different ending but apart from that, it was a good story.

Reviewed by George and Elisabeth Matsis (aged 4 and 7)

The Lawrence Lions
by Clare Blackmore
Published by by Clare Blackmore
ISBN 9780473222543

1 thought on “Book review: The Lawrence Lions by Clare Blackmore

  1. Dear Elisabeth and George,

    I really enjoyed reading your review of my book ‘The Lawrence Lions’. Your comments about the book were very well thought out. I have had a lot of fun visiting children in Lawrence where I live and where the lions escaped, and reading my book. We have talked about what could have been done differently to capture the lions. The children had lots of ideas but they understood it would be very hard to capture the lions quickly and safely before it got dark and the lions entered our local forestry. When the lions escaped I was about the same age as you Elisabeth and as you can imagine it was a terribly frightening time for the townspeople. The grown-ups had to think really fast what they were going to do so that the lions wouldn’t hurt anyone else. They waited for at least an hour, maybe two, following and watching the lions while they waited for a tranquiliser gun to come from another town that could put the lions to sleep, sadly when it arrived the bullets were faulty and couldn’t be used.

    The children of Lawrence are very proud of the Lawrence Lions story as not many children can say that they have had lions roaming their town. The children still visit Sultan and Sonia sitting pride of place at the Animal Attic in the Otago Museum and now they are very happy to have a picture book to tell them what happened on that extraordinary night. I hope one day you have a chance to visit our famous Lawrence lions.

    Thanks again for your lovely review
    Clare Blackmore

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