Oh to be a lion! I mean, if you are a dog, it might seem attractive to be a lion instead.
In Bernardo Atxaga’s Shola and the Lions, with charming illustrations by Mikel Valverde, Shola – who is a dog – hears about lions, and immediately realises that that’s what he is. He has never really been a dog. It’s been a misunderstanding.
Grogó, Shola’s owner, had a visitor who left behind a book on lions, and Shola keeps checking the facts in this book. He’s right! He is a lion!
This basque story, which is part of Pushkin’s translated children’s books, is sweet and funny. Grogó doesn’t quite understand why his dog has gone a bit funny. But then Shola goes out, being a bit of a lion, and, well, it doesn’t seem a total success, exactly. Dogness can be good, too.