Orchard Books/Scholastic Inc., September 24, 2013

Pictures by Chris Raschka

Scary things happen. ‘Scary’ is part of life for everyone—young children, older kids, and grown-ups too. Ever see a young child hide behind a parent when the lion roars at the zoo? Or when a parent hollers and isn’t even hollering at his or her child At that moment, all a child wants is the ‘scary’ to go away and to feel safe again.” WHEN LIONS ROAR shares how a young boy faces his fears—be it a thunderstorm or barking dog. In spare, simple prose and breath-taking artwork just right for toddlers and preschoolers, this picture book relates how, with just a simple act and two words—GO AWAY!—the quiet can come back. I wrote WHEN LIONS ROAR for any and every young child. That’s because I feel that ‘fear’ and how we deal with it and where it takes us is one of life’s most interesting stories. What I tried to do in this book was to write a story that would strike a responsive chord in young children.

I began writing this book shortly after the events of September 11, 2001 and didn’t work on it again until several years later. But the idea never left my mind. When I went back to it, I realized that fear and conquering fear is part of every young child’s life. Every child has fears of one kind or another—sometimes big ones, most often little ones. Chris Raschka’s caring, insightful and magnificent art brought new and deeper meaning to the story I wrote. My hope was and my sense is that the emotional interplay between the words and Chris’ pictures speaks to young children and that they will enjoy WHEN LIONS ROAR as a good story that they want to have read to them over and over again.”

*Starred Review* When Lions Roar
First published August, 2013 (Booklist). Harris and Raschka elegantly tackle a common childhood emotion in this pitch-perfect book for the youngest child. ―When lions roar! / When monkeys screech! / When lightening cracks! / When thunder booms!,‖ it’s scary, and the sources of the fear can feel very close and very threatening. After becoming overwhelmed by a series of events, a little boy sits down, closes his eyes, and tells the scary to ―Go away.‖ Quiet starts to return, as flowers bloom, puppies cuddle, and mommies and daddies, who have their scary moments too, are back to their singing and dancing selves. Sure, it’s simplistic, but it’s also a powerful message about positive thinking: a change in perspective influences how we experience our environment. It’s possible that no one conveys emotion better than Raschka and, with the curve of an eyebrow or the posturing of a body, we know exactly what the boy is thinking and feeling. Similarly, simple backgrounds depict footsteps and fear clouds or offer exuberant swirls of excitement and speak volumes about the boy’s state-of-mind. Paired with Robie’s simple text, this reassures children that facing your fears can have truly transformative results.

—Ann Kelley, Booklist, August 2013