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Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back Hardcover – September 24, 2013 by Shel Silverstein (Author)

Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back has been a favorite of mine for over 20 years, and I love to share it! The book can be difficult to find in brick-and-mortar stores, unlike other Silverstein books for youngsters. That fact has always baffled me, as Lafcadio is one of Uncle Shelby’s best. Lafcadio is best when read aloud, and the little ones will often sit still for a full reading, it’s just that good. Older children note, “It really left me hanging! What happens to him?” It’s the perfect beginning of a conversation about understanding and being true to yourself, not changing to be what others expect or want you to be. I still wonder what happened to Lafcadio, and hope he is happy, wherever he is, and that he has plenty of marshmallows. Check it out! Review First published in 1963, the late Shel Silverstein’s children’s book debut Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back, will resonate with young readers much as it did 40 years ago. The affable narrator Uncle Shelby’s story begins: “Once there was a young lion and his name was–well, I don’t really know what his name was because he lived in the jungle with a lot of other lions and if he did have a name it certainly wasn’t a name like Joe or Ernie or anything like that.” That all changes, however, when a circus man discovers the lion’s skills as a marksman (the lion took a gun from a hunter he ate) and names him Lafcadio the Great. When the circus man takes Lafcadio to New York City, the story takes on a certain Crocodile Dundee quality–the lion eats the menu at a fancy restaurant, demands marshmallows (he likes the sound of them), and is captivated by the hotel elevator. As Lafcadio becomes more civilized and rich and famous, however, he becomes more unhappy. In the end, to entertain the increasingly despondent star, the circus man takes Lafcadio hunting in Africa where he encounters his old lion friends on the other end of his gun. Is Lafcadio now a man or is he a lion? He decides he is neither and wanders alone into the valley. In typical Silverstein style, this exuberantly-silly-yet-poignant fable, illustrated with simple, expressive line drawings, asks more questions than it answers. The glee the author derives from wordplay and the sound of language is positively contagious. This read-aloud classic belongs on every child’s bookshelf. (Ages 6 to 10) –Karin Snelson

Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back Hardcover – September 24, 2013 by Shel Silverstein (Author) Review

I remember my mom reading this book to me as a little boy and loved it. Now that I have a daughter of my own I bought this book and still enjoy it. I would say this is one of the great books by Shel Silverstein and is probably the most over looked. -Read Reviews-

This is a must have. It is well written and very funny. My 7 year old daughter and I laughed and giggled throughout the first 4 chapters and we had to finish reading it the next morning. Good thing too because I was going to finish it without her. Please don’t let the reviews that complain about lion shooting hunters and eating them scare you off. It’s told very well and I can’t imagine any kid being scared by it.

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