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The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo
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The Butterfly Lion (1996)

by Michael Morpurgo

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A touching story that I read in one sitting. It's a story within a story as a young boy runs away from school and ends up sat in an old lady's kitchen listening to her tale about the white lion. ( )
  26kathryn | Jun 12, 2013 |
Its an absolute brilliant book. Michael Morpurgo is my favorite author ever. ( )
  smorris00 | Feb 4, 2013 |
This book tells the story of Bertie, a lonely little boy in the South African veld who one day adopts an orphaned white lion cub who then becomes his best friend. When he's due to go to boarding school in England, his father sells the cub to a French circus owner, but not before Bertie promises to find him again. Years later and now a soldier in France during WWI, he succeeds in tracking him down and bringing him back to England. When the lion dies, Bertie and his wife create the Butterfly Lion of the title to always remember him by.

A short novel for confident readers (or for sharing) in fairly large print with charming illustrations, this is written in clear prose that is very engaging and manages to subtly convey to the reader the issues of love and belonging, loyalty and friendship, and even the terrors and hardships during the First World War. This would have been plenty to keep anyone happy, so the final twist of turning the book into a ghost story was, in my opinion, unnecessary and somewhat disappointing.

A lovely introduction to the works of Michael Morpurgo that whets the appetite for more. ( )
  passion4reading | Aug 7, 2012 |
I love that book it is really touching I really really like it
  CHBE | Feb 10, 2011 |
Bertie, brought up behind a high security fence on a farm in Africa, breaks out twice: once to rescue a white lion cub, and the second time to set the lion free before his father can sell it to a circus. However he is unsuccessful and the lion is shipped off to France, Bertie swearing to find it one day is sent to England to school. Bertie is unable to settle, his only respite a friendship he develops with the sole child of the local manor house, and as soon as he is old enough Bertie joins up and goes to France to fight in the Great War. He becomes a war hero, meets up with his old friend who has gone to France to nurse the wounded, and finds and saves his lion.
  cranbrook | May 24, 2009 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Virginia McKenna
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Butterflies live only short lives.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Bertie adopts an
Orphaned white lion cub and
They become best friends.
(passion4reading)

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Bertie rescues an orphaned white lion cub from the African veldt, but when Bertie is sent away to boarding school the lion is sold to a circus. Bertie swears they will see one another again, but it is the butterfly lion which ensures their friendship will never be forgotten. Suggested level: primary, intermediate.… (more)

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