cover image Enchanted Lions

Enchanted Lions

David T. Greenberg, , illus. by Kristina Swarner. . Dutton, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-47938-3

One night, a girl named Rose is visited by magical lions with moony, almost human faces that “climb out of the sea.” One lion, with a stringy yellow mane that resembles Rose’s red hair, comes to her room and takes her flying through outer space, where they encounter dreamy, galactic creatures: “Past Pegasus, the horse,/ And all his herd stampeding;/ Past Pisces and her fish-kids,/ Gluttonously feeding.” When Rose and the lion get caught up in a “cosmic suction cup” (a black hole), Cetus, the “mighty stellar whale,” and a unicorn rescue them. They then return home to “that isolated beach/ Where every lion frolics now,/ A happy kid with each.” Swarner’s (Before You Were Born ) fantastical shapes and the textural, surreal landscapes are so evocative that Greenberg’s (Crocs! ) text can occasionally feel gratuitous, though dashes of science and fancy lend the lullaby-like verse freshness (“They jump-rope crescent moons,/ Hopscotch asteroids./ They scamper and they frisk/ Through interstellar voids”). Imaginative readers should leave the pages wishing for a midnight visit from a lion of their own. Ages 5–8. (May)