Lovely Old Lion by Julia Jarman

Lovely Old Lion

Written by Julia Jarman
Illustrated by Susan Varley

Baby and Toddler   3+ readers   eBooks   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Lenny’s grandpa King Lion is getting forgetful and confused. He gets night and day mixed up and even forgets Lenny’s name. Grandma explains he’s not himself and Lenny works out ways to help his grandpa remember, games and activities that also make the old lion happy. Lots of children will recognise their own grandparents in King Lion and Julia Jarman and Susan Varley have created a lovely picture book that explains dementia in a very honest, yet gentle and reassuring way. Touching and poignant, the book also celebrates the special relationship between young and old. ~ Andrea Reece

A note from the author, Julia Jarman "When librarian Karen Morris told me there was a very real need for a story about dementia I said I'd have a go. Karen said a lot of children were having to come to terms with the fact that their grannies and granddads were losing their memories. Beloved grandparents were acting oddly and they didn't know why or what to do. I sympathised; I have friends with Alzheimer's, bright friends who started acting out of character. Lovely Old Lion is the result of this collaboration. Susan Varley has illustrated my text with huge sensitivity, conveying every nuance of emotion - and it is an emotional story."


Lovely Old Lion by Julia Jarman

Lenny the lion loves his grandpa, King Lion. But when King Lion starts to forget things, Lenny begins to worry. He can't understand why Grandpa keeps getting muddled and doesn't want to play any more. Lenny doesn't know what to do, but with a little help from Grandpa's old friends, perhaps he can find a way to help him remember...

According to the Alzheimer’s Society there are now over 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK - Lovely Old Lion will be a resource for those many families learning to cope with living with the disease.


A sensitively told story about a child coming to terms with his Grandpa's dementia. -- Fiona Noble The Bookseller

A thoughtful picture book which will help keep the bond between grandparents & children strong My Book Corner Moving

and sensitive... another classic Books for Keeps

Truly beautifully illustrated and sensitive story about dementia Askews & Holts Library Service

A supportive, honest, and needed explanation of Alzheimer’s-type illnesses Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Julia Jarman

Julia Jarman has written over 60 books for children. Born in 1946, Julia was brought up near Peterborough, and attended local schools. Her family had a small plot of land on which they kept chickens and pigs. They also had a dog, two cats, a succession of rabbits, and for a short time, a grass snake! Her pets have featured in her stories at some point. This little plot was important to Julia as she could escape there and read or just do nothing - essentials for a good imagination.

As a child she became a book worm and visited her local library on an almost daily basis. She started at one end of a shelf and read all the books until she reached the other end. Julia decided when she was 8 years old to become a children's writer, having read Little Women and the sequel Good Wives. The character in these books, Jo March, became a writer when she grew up and Julia wanted to be like her.

To begin with, Julia wrote to magazines, comics and newspapers and managed, at the age of 8, to have some work published.

On leaving school, Julia went to university to study English and Drama. She became a teacher to earn a living while developing her writing. During this stage she got married and had three children. Reading to her own children made her realise the importance of children's stories and underlined her determination to write.

Encouraged by her children, Julia started writing about people that were life like and exciting, and included some scary situations. Her philosophy is to take real life and add some 'what ifs' - and then anything can happen.

Julia still likes to read a lot but has to also make time for writing, which takes up about four days a week. She has little time for many hobbies as she also likes to visit schools one day a week to get feedback from children.

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: To 5


Julia Jarman
More books by Julia Jarman

Author's Website


Andersen Press Ltd

Publication date

4th August 2016




Publisher Profile

Andersen Press Ltd is an imprint of Andersen Press

logo Andersen Press is one of the leading independent children’s publishers, publishing some of the biggest names in the world of children's books including the much-loved picture book characters the Little Princess and Elmer the patchwork elephant. Andersen Press is the home of many award-winning authors and illustrators including Melvin Burgess, Rebecca Stead, Satoshi Kitamura, Tony Ross, David McKee, Chris Judge and Jeanne Willis. Founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge it won the Bologna Best Children’s Publisher prize in the European Category in 2016, the company’s 40th anniversary year.

Publisher's Website

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