I love this story. I just read it aloud to my class this week. They were quite surprised with it at first. Shel Silverstein's conversational voice is easy to listen to. I think sometimes they weren't sure if it was me talking or if it was really what was written.
It's a quick read, and perfect for kids trying to move from picture books to chapter books. It's silly and funny and full of great illustrations. I love Shel Silverstein's style of black and white line drawings. They're simple, yet very effective.
"You don't have to shoot me," says the young lion. "I will be your rug and I will lie in front of your fireplace and I won't move a muscle and you can sit on me and toast all the marshmallows you want. I love marshmallows."
But the hunter will not listen to reason, so what is there for a young lion to do? After eating up the hunter, Lafcadio takes the gun home and practices and practices until he becomes the world's greatest sharp-shooter.
Now dressed in starched collars and fancy suits, and enjoying all the marshmallows he wants, Lafcadio is pampered and admired wherever he goes. But is a famous, successful, and admired lion a happy lion? Or is he a lion at all?
Told and drawn with wit and gusto, Shel Silverstein's modern fable speaks not only to children but to us all.