The World's Greatest Lion (Hardcover)

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By Ralph Helfer, Ted Lewin (Illustrator)
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A lion born in Zambia is rescued after the death of his parents and is brought to a California Reserve where he appears in many movies. Dramatic illustrations (6-9).

— From Animals - Nonfiction


From the creators of The World's Greatest Elephant comes the real-life story of the MGM Studios Lion.

Perhaps the most recognizable Hollywood animal--outside of Lassie--is "Leo the Lion," MGM Studios' famous mascot. For decades his image introduced hundreds of motion pictures, and Zamba the lion acted in dozens more. But he wasn't always a Hollywood star, and he certainly proved to be much more.

This real-life story of Zamba, told by world-renowned animal behaviorist Ralph Helfer and Caldecott Honor recipient Ted Lewin, follows the famous lion from an orphaned cub in Africa to iconic Hollywood actor. But Zamba's greatest role wasn't scripted and it certainly wasn't captured on film. In 1969, the canyon that housed Ralph Helfer's animal ranch was ravaged by floods. As death claimed many of the animals, dozens were led to safety by one heroic lion.

Zamba's story, beautifully told and illustrated, is one that will entertain and inspire--both cubs and lions.

About the Author

Ralph Helfer lives in Nairobi, Kenya.

Ted Lewin lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Praise For…

The World’s Greatest Lion ably chronicles this leonine rags-to-riches tale."
-The New York Times Online Book Review

"A gorgeously illustrated picture book . . . exciting, adorable, and arresting . . . Helfer’s genuine affection for his animal companion is always apparent and Lewin’s irresistible images make this title a worthwhile purchase."

-School Library Journal

Caldecott Honor–winning Lewin fills his spreads with glorious images of African animals, highlighting the bonds that can unexpectedly form between different species.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780399254178
ISBN-10: 039925417X
Publisher: Philomel Books
Publication Date: July 5th, 2012
Pages: 40
Language: English