Brian the Dancing Lion

by Tom Tinn-Disbury (Author) Tom Tinn-Disbury (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Brian the Lion loves dancing, but lions are meant to be brave and strong and fierce. Nobody would think a dancing lion was brave or strong or fierce. But when Brian finds out about a big dancing competition, he decides it's time to prove everyone wrong! Tom Tinn-Disbury tears apart any lingering notions of gender (and lion) stereotypes in this musical picture book, showcasing the importance of believing in yourself, trusting your friends, and dancing at every opportunity.
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$16.19 $17.99

Kirkus Reviews

Can someone be brave, strong, fierce, and love to dance? Brian the lion loves to dance. Whenever he hears music (or any sound with a beat) he needs to dance, and it makes him feel good. He worries, however, that since lions are meant to be brave, strong, and fierce, no one will respect a dancing lion. Whenever his friends ask about his social calendar, he equivocates about all of the leonine activities he plans to do, but he really spends his free time dancing in secret. One day, he hears from a couple of gazelles that a big dance competition is in the works. Brian thinks he can prove to everyone that dancing lions can still be courageous and powerful. He practices day and night, plagued by fears of what his friends (an ape, a rhino, and an alligator) would think if they knew about his hidden passion. One day, while the other animals are practicing their dance routines, the music moves Brian so much that he can't help but dance, much to everyone's astonishment. Embarrassed, he runs home and hides for days. When his friends come to check on him, they each have a surprising confession...and a plan to prove to the jungle at large that fierce lions can be dancers too. Brit Tinn-Disbury's winsome tale demolishes gender (and species) stereotypes with gentle humor. The digital illustrations of jungle animals, au naturel, are colorful and appealing. (This book was reviewed digitally.) A fine addition to storytimes on friendship, breaking norms, and being one's self. (Picture book. 2-7)

Review quotes

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Capstone Editions
Publication date
February 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV031020 - Juvenile Fiction | Performing Arts | Dance
JUV002150 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Lions, Tigers, Leopards, etc.
JUV039140 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Picture books for children
Jungle animals
Stereotypes (Social psychology)

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