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Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back by Shel…

Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back (original 1963; edition 1963)

by Shel Silverstein

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7061020,096 (4.19)3
Title:Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back
Authors:Shel Silverstein
Info:HarperCollins (1963), Edition: 40 Anv, Hardcover, 112 pages
Collections:Your library

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Lafcadio : The Lion Who Shot Back by Shel Silverstein (1963)



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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Fantastic book for kids! So imaginative and creative. Easy read that children will find delightful!

Shel Silverstein is always brilliant! His rhymes are fun and entertaining! Some of my all time favorites!! Such a great way to entertain children and get them interested in reading! ( )
  grapeapril75 | Oct 18, 2014 |
Fun read with a moral lesson at the end. Shel Silverstein books are commonly found in our household. ( )
  capiam1234 | May 17, 2014 |
  saintmarysaccden | Nov 12, 2013 |
this lion has no fear in him, only curiousity. so when hunter come to kill him he doesnt run like the others, he stands his ground. he becomes famous for being the lion who shot back because he ended up being one of the best shooters in the world. he loses the lion he once was and becomes more like the men who had come to kill him and his family. too human to be a lion, and too lion to be human, he winds up alone. this could be used with a lesson about staying true to who you are and loving yourself.
  nkertz | Dec 4, 2011 |
A delightful story following a Lion who learns to use a gun and rids the jungle of hunters. He lives as a hero among his lion friends until a ringmaster recruits him to join the circus, with promises of marshmallows, fame and fortune. Lafcadio becomes Lafcadio the Great, and indeed becomes rich and famous, living as a human among humans until he is nearly no longer a lion. One day Lafcadio is invited to join his human friends on a hunting trip in Africa--where he is recognized by another Lion. Now Lafcadio must decide: does he want to be a lion and live among the lions, or would he rather be human and return to the city? Ultimately ***(spoiler!)*** he decides he'd rather be neither, and supposes he doesn't belong anywhere.

I absolutely love the closing lines of the book, where Shel SIlverstein hints at an ending and then leaves the reader hanging. You're here at the end and you're wondering what's going to become of poor Lafcadio, who doesn't belong anywhere. Silverstein teases with, "...he didn't really know where he was going, but he did know he was going somewhere, because you really have to go somewhere, don't you? And he didn't really know what was going to happen to him, but he did know that something was going to happen, because something always does, doesn't it?'

I was literally almost nodding my head in agreement as I turned the pages, but as it turns out, nothing happens to Lafcadio. He disappears, and the reader is left wondering along with the author, speculating as to his whereabouts, but the reader is left with a promise from Silverstein that, if he does get any word from Lafcadio, he will let us know.

I feel that this book best belongs incorporated into an ELA/creative writing/storytelling unit, because of the whimsical way Silverstein tells the story, much of which is not at all grammatically correct. It serves as a great example of how a good story doesn't necessarily need perfect grammar, a conclusive ending, or even a "point" except to be a good, fun read for the reader. ( )
  jebass | Sep 25, 2011 |
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Even your old Uncle Shelby once had a teacher.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060256753, Hardcover)

First published in 1963, the late Shel Silverstein's children's book debut Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back, will resonate with young readers much as it did 40 years ago. The affable narrator Uncle Shelby's story begins: "Once there was a young lion and his name was--well, I don't really know what his name was because he lived in the jungle with a lot of other lions and if he did have a name it certainly wasn't a name like Joe or Ernie or anything like that." That all changes, however, when a circus man discovers the lion's skills as a marksman (the lion took a gun from a hunter he ate) and names him Lafcadio the Great. When the circus man takes Lafcadio to New York City, the story takes on a certain Crocodile Dundee quality--the lion eats the menu at a fancy restaurant, demands marshmallows (he likes the sound of them), and is captivated by the hotel elevator. As Lafcadio becomes more civilized and rich and famous, however, he becomes more unhappy. In the end, to entertain the increasingly despondent star, the circus man takes Lafcadio hunting in Africa where he encounters his old lion friends on the other end of his gun. Is Lafcadio now a man or is he a lion? He decides he is neither and wanders alone into the valley. In typical Silverstein style, this exuberantly-silly-yet-poignant fable, illustrated with simple, expressive line drawings, asks more questions than it answers. The glee the author derives from wordplay and the sound of language is positively contagious. This read-aloud classic belongs on every child's bookshelf. (Ages 6 to 10) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:51 -0400)

After leaving the jungle for the circus and a life of fame and wealth, a lion who taught himself to be the best shot in the world discovers he's not really a lion anymore, and not really a man, either.

(summary from another edition)

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