Christian, the Hugging Lion

Illustrated by Amy June Bates
LIST PRICE $21.99

About The Book

When John and Ace found a lion cub for sale at Harrods, they knew that a department store was no place for a lion. They took him home, named him Christian, raised him and loved him--and in the process, Christian became a London celebrity. But when Christian got too big for their apartment, Ace and John knew that it was time to let him go back to Africa, where he belonged. When they went to visit him in Africa, they were in for a wonderful surprise. Christian remembered them!

This heartwarming book is based on the true story of two men who raised and loved a lion cub--which millions of fans know through the popular YouTube video.

About The Authors

Justin Richardson, MD, is the coauthor, with Peter Parnell, of the award-winning picture book And Tango Makes Three. Dr. Richardson is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia and Cornell and the coauthor of Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They’d Ask). Dr. Richardson and his advice have been featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post, on the Today show and NPR’s Morning Edition, and in numerous magazines. Dr. Richardson lectures to parents and teachers on parenting and the sexual development of children.

Photo Credit:

Peter Parnell is the coauthor, with Justin Richardson, of And Tango Makes Three. He is a playwright whose plays have been produced at the Public Theater and Playwrights Horizons in New York City, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and the Seattle Repertory Company, among others. His play QED was produced on Broadway. He has written extensively for television as a producer for both The West Wing and The Guardian; he has also written episodes of Maurice Sendak’s series Little Bear. He lives in New York City.

About The Illustrator

Photo provided by the author

Amy June Bates has illustrated books including the Sam the Man series, Sweet Dreams and That’s What I’d Do, both by singer-songwriter Jewel; and Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan. She lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, with her husband and three children.

Raves and Reviews

"In subtly evocative prose, the authors emphasize storytelling as they hit the major plot points of the now familiar story...Playing off the understated text to humorous effect, Bates contributes balmy watercolors...that highlights Christina's playfulness...It's a tender and particularly kid-friendly version of Christian's story."--Publishers Weekly

"This book will be a popular choice among the many youngsters who have bonded with their own pets."–School Library Journal

Awards and Honors

  • Lambda Literary Award Finalist
  • Florida Reading Association Children's Book Award

Resources and Downloads

Common Core Suggestion

High Resolution Images

More books from this illustrator: Amy June Bates