Sunday, July 21, 2024
How to be a Lion

How to be a Lion

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Ed Vere

You don’t have to ROAR to be heard…

Meet Leonard – a lion like no other. Leonard’s best friend is Marianne, a duck. But lions chomp ducks, don’t they? What will the pair do when their way of life is threatened?


  • Could you make your own version of this book, based on a different animal (e.g. How to be a Crocodile or How to be a Ladybird), that shows the reader ‘there are so many ways that you can be you.’
  • Write a new story about an animal that has an unusual friend (e.g. a cat and a mouse, or a kangaroo and a panda).
  • Think of some speech / thought bubbles to add to the illustrations.
  • Retell the story from Leonard’s point of view.
  • Write Leonard’s diary entry about the day he met Marianne.
  • Write a conversation between the other lions. What might they say to each other about Leonard’s behaviour?
  • ‘Crunch’ and ‘Chomp’ are examples of onomatopoeia. Can you think of any others?
  • Create a poem that Leonard might write about his friend Marianne.
  • Look at the illustrations and think of words that describe the facial expressions of the characters. Can you think of synonyms for those words?
  • Make an acrostic poem based on the words LION or LEONARD.


  • Look at the front cover of the book. Leonard is camouflaged against the orange background. Can you think of animals that use camouflage to hide from predators?
  • Create a food chain (or a food web) that includes a lion.
  • Write a report about the things that a lion usually does in the wild.


  • Use drawing software to create a picture of a lion.
  • Create a multimedia presentation about a lion.
  • Could you use a programming tool (e.g. Scratch) to make a game that involves a lion?
  • Watch a ‘Read Aloud’ video for this book. Could you record your own version? Here are some examples:

Design Technology:

  • Could you create a model of Leonard (and / or Marianne) using junk modelling materials?


  • Draw a picture of an animal that is using camouflage to hide in its habitat.
  • Look at a photo of a lion and create your own drawing or painting.
  • Take a photo of a lion, cut it in half, and draw the missing half to complete the picture again.


  • Compose a melody to accompany Leonard’s poem.


  • Where might Leonard live? Write a report about a place in Africa where you might find a lion.

Physical Education:

  • Can you move around like a lion? Can you move like a duck?


  • If you had a ‘thinking hill’ (like Leonard), what would you spend time thinking about?
  • Do you have a quiet space where you like to think about things?
  • Leonard and Marianne made wishes at night. Think of some wishes that you would like to make.
  • The other lions tell Leonard that he must be fierce. Should we always behave the way others expect us to?
  • On his website, the author writes, ‘Strength and sensitivity are not mutually exclusive.’ What does this mean?

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