In The Lion

Written & illustrated by James Foley.
Published by Walker Books Australia
Hardback August 2012, ISBN: 9781921720321
Paperback October 2014, ISBN: 9781922077134

Buy online:

In The Lion

In the city there’s a zoo. In the zoo there’s a lion.
And in the lion, there’s…

So begins In The Lion, a darkly funny picture book for younger readers. A young boy visits the zoo with his family, only to find an enormous lion is swallowing everything and everyone it can. Only the boy has the courage to stand his ground and stop the lion.


  • Selection, International Youth Library’s 2013 White Raven list
  • Notable Book, 2013 Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award
  • Shortlist, Western Australian Young Readers’ Book Awards 2014 (Picture Book category)

Book Trailer


“darkly funny … joyfully repetitive text with colourful, comical illustrations.” – White Ravens Selection 2013, International Youth Library

“… full of colourful and clever illustrations, and repetitive text that will engage and delight young children.” – Scoop Magazine

“Foley is a new voice in picture-book creation… charmingly simple rhythmic text… a very promising debut” – Perth Child Magazine

“vibrant cartoonish illustrations and a repetitive text whose tension builds and builds until young readers will be ready to pop right along with the titular beast, In the Lion is sure to delight.” – WritingWA

“This is one of our most popular books and is being read all the time at school.” – BookTrailers4KidsAndYA

“Delightfully humorous.” – Sally Murphy, Aussie Reviews

“… hilarious … children will be laughing out loud. The story works well as a read-aloud, but is even better for one-on-one sharing so that you can make the most of the illustrations.” – Picture Book Nook

“a picture book that kids will want to listen to again and again. I love it.” – Susan Stephenson, The Book Chook


Teachers’ Notes
Download (pdf)

In The Lion handout

Ask the students to come up with the craziest possible things the lion might have eaten, and get them to draw them inside (e.g. Yoda from Star Wars, a toilet, a school bus, an elephant, a bottle of poison, a bomb, a entire football stadium with a match being played, the sun, the world, the Eiffel Tower, another lion which also has another lion inside it, etc etc).
Download for non-commercial, educational purposes only.


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