The Butterfly Lion

The Butterfly Lion

4.07 (7,291 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Illustrated by 

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A lyrical and moving tale of a young boy growing up in Africa, and his lifelong friendship with a white lion.

"All my life I'll think of you, I promise I will. I won't ever forget you."

Bertie rescues an orphaned white lion cub from the African veld. They are inseparable until Bertie is sent to boarding school far away in England and the lion is sold to a circus. Bertie swears that one day they will see one another again, but it is the butterfly lion which ensures that their friendship will never be forgotten.
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Product details

  • 9+
  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 10mm | 120g
  • HarperCollins Children's Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • edition
  • 0006751032
  • 9780006751038
  • 703

Review quote

"The Butterfly Lion is unique among animals and books, and will touch all hearts - both young and old." Virginia McKenna, Born Free Foundation

Praise for Michael Morpurgo:
"A master storyteller at his best" The Sunday Times
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About Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo OBE is one of Britain's best-loved writers for children, and has sold more than 35 million books around the world. He has written more than 150 novels and won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, the Whitbread Award and the Blue Peter Book Award, while several of his books have been adapted for stage and screen, including the global theatrical phenomenon War Horse. Michael was Children's Laureate from 2003 to 2005, and founded the charity Farms for City Children with his wife, Clare. He was knighted in 2018 for services to literature and charity.
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Rating details

7,291 ratings
4.07 out of 5 stars
5 40% (2,911)
4 34% (2,449)
3 21% (1,539)
2 4% (316)
1 1% (76)

Our customer reviews

When I saw the cover of the book, I thought that it would be just another story about an animal with special, unique, or even human characteristics. It is, in fact, a story about an animal but also so much more. The Butterfly Lion is a story about love, faithfulness, destiny and a lucky coincidence. This book with its unpredictable ending begins in a different place and time, but Morpurgo, however, manages to write a story within a story and masterfully connects them into a beautiful vivid tale that teaches us about true love. When ten-year old Michael, the narrator of the story, escapes from school, he meets an old woman – Millie. After a short chit-chat on the street, she invites him to her cosy home. She there tells him the story about the lion and Bertie. This story begins in Africa; the main character Bertie rescues an orphaned lion cub and they are inseparable until the day Bertie has to go to England to boarding school. The lion is sold to a circus and it seems that they will never see each other again. Bertie, however, swears that one day he will find his lion – a friend that made his days in Africa full of joy and happiness. The story offers many unpredictable situations. It captures the atmosphere so beautifully that a reader can easily travel in their mind from one location to another and is never disappointed by any description. It is a human story and a complex tale of different kinds of love. Although it is considered a children’s book, an adult reader could enjoy it just as much as a child. Adults, however, will probably understand it differently and find a deeper message that Morpurgo wrapped in intelligent writing. The book can easily make you cry; not because the story is so sad, but because it shows us that although life can be cruel it is also simple in its complexity. Worth reading. Epic. Brilliant. I loved more
by AnjaS
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