Review by Ian Keogh
This third volume of Frédéric Brrémaud and Federico Bertolucci’s attractive looking and educational series differs slightly from the previous outings. On those the title animal was used as a means to explore a general environment, in effect presenting them as a lead among an ensemble cast, but here the lion, or a pride of them to be precise, are the focus for almost the entire wordless story.
For the sake of drama Brrémaud and Bertolucci compress more into a short period than a lion would usually experience, but doing that enables a greater variety, not just of what the lion experiences, but the looks at other creatures.
Lion opens with the realism of the female lions doing the hunting only for the male to turn up once the prey is dead, and growl away until it gets the first chomps. They also show that there are creatures even the kings of the jungle are wary about. They avoid the crocodiles within the watering hole, but use them as a means of chasing prey to the lake’s edges where they’re waiting, and quickly move away when the hippopotamus arrives.
Although the attractive, realistic drawing might indicate a book suitable for all ages, despite a sequence of the young cubs frolicking, this isn’t cuddly Lion King territory. Graphic novels in the Love series never shy away from what it takes for an animal to survive in the wild, and there’s plenty of savagery on display here, so despite the quality, this possibly isn’t for sensitive children.
That probably also applies to the next in the series when Brrémaud and Bertolucci turn their attention to The Dinosaur.