Night approaches, and lion cubs head for home.

With the “moon ripe and round,” 10 little lions hear “evening’s sounds” and know it’s time to “run along home.” Along the way, one watches a monkey “bouncing a babe on its knee.” Two see a cobra wave its tail and hear zebras bray and a tree frog peep. Three little lions sprint across sand dunes, four inspect a honeybee nest, five splash across a stream, and six peek at elephants tramping along and wildebeests running. On their way home, seven are caught in the rain, and eight tired little lions stop to rest, stretch, and purr. Home at last, nine little lions are ready for bed, and finally all 10 listen to “evening’s lullaby,” snuggle up, and sleep “cuddled by night.” Relying on repetition and rhyme, the text generates a gentle, soporific cadence as the little lions progress homeward, distracted by evening sights and sounds along the way. The painterly, realistic illustrations create the feel of approaching night, transitioning gradually from golds, browns, and greens to dreamy mauves, violets, and grays. Opening with a scene of 10 fuzzy, engaging cubs together, the double-page spreads track their progress from different perspectives and in ascending numerical groups across a stream, over sand dunes, atop tree branches, and beneath leaves until all 10 reunite with their mother under the “moon’s wide eye.”

Ideal bedtime read-aloud. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0982-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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