When an imaginative, vivacious girl named Ida notices that a hedge near her home is actually a lion disguising himself, how can she help him and his roar emerge? This challenge and Ida's persistent enthusiasm make Hedge Lion a special tale of burgeoning friendship.
It's the quirky little things that make a storybook friendship memorable (think, for instance, of Rosie and Rasmus or Daisy). In Hedge Lion, which Robyn Wilson-Owen both wrote and illustrated, the "little things" include Ida's yellow overalls which match the lion's fur, her conviction that he can't be a hedge because "hedges are not furry," and her multi-pronged efforts to get him to roar. These efforts culminate in her reading him a storybook that makes them both roar with laughter.
What happens next is the key to this book's emotional wisdom. Once the lion starts roaring, he can't stop, and his roars go from laughter to sadness to anger; "then they sounded as though they'd been squashed inside for a long time." When Ida yells back — not hiding her own roar — the lion lets out his Big Scary Roar. We won't reveal what happens next, but it draws the two even closer together and allows the lion to come fully out of hiding.
Wilson-Owens, who clearly knows a thing or two about how important it is to find and integrate our wild power, trained in costume and puppet design before pursuing her passion for illustrating children's books. We are delighted that she's branching out into writing them as well.