Akimbo and the Lions

Author(s): 
Alexander McCall Smith
Illustrator(s): 
LeUyem Pham
Copyright: 
2005
Publisher: 
Bloomsbury Children's Books
Binding: 
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages: 
66 pages
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

Akimbo is a young African boy whose father is a head ranger of a game park. When his father announces that he is going to one of the farms in the south because of reports of a lion attacking cattle, Akimbo convinces his father to let him tag along with the promise that he will be good and help.

True to his word, he does help his father in more ways than one. On the night they set the trap, they are in for a big surprise. Akimbo's quick-witted actions and bravery save his father's life. In the end, they don't catch a lion, but a lion cub, which Akimbo begs his father to keep. The cub grows faster than anyone expects, causing lots of interesting situations.

Beautiful pencil drawings add drama and interest to this easy-to-read, short chapter book set in Africa.

There are many nice qualities to this simple story for emerging readers. Foremost is the wonderful relationship between the father and son. It is apparent that they love and respect one another.

This book is part of a series of books with the main character of Akimbo. The book would be of interest to children between 3rd and 6th grade.

Review Date: 
7-3-2007
Reviewed by: 
Elizabeth Yank