Books & Literature

Book Review: Little Lion: A Long Way Home, by Saroo Brierley

PICTURE BOOK: A picture book adaptation of the extraordinary and inspiring true story that became the bestselling book and award-winning film, Lion.

A powerful story of loss, family and love spanning two continents and 25 years.

Saroo Brierly has a story which is well known to many. His autobiography, A Long Way Home, was made into a motion picture called Lion. Starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, it was nominated for four Golden Globe and six Academy Awards as well as many other international awards.

Little Lion is Saroo’s story turned into a picture book. It is the story of a 5-year old boy who lives in India. He has a family who he loves and who love him. His mother works long hours and his older brothers work and beg where they can to help provide food for the family. Five-year-old Saroo stays home and looks after his younger sister.

One day, Saroo went to the train station with his older brother, Guddu. Falling asleep after he boards a train, he finds himself kilometres away from home and lost. And so begins his story of searching, trying to keep safe on the streets of India and then finding his way through pure good fortune to people who are able to look after him and find him a new home. He is eventually adopted by Tasmanian couple Sue and John Brierly, and moves to Australia. Twenty-five years later, after discovering Google Earth, Saroo thinks he has discovered where he has come from.

Little Lion is a powerful story of loss, perseverance, love, and family. It has successfully made the transition to picture book so this incredible story is now accessible to children. The atmospheric, colourful illustrations by Bruce Whately, (of Diary of a Wombat fame), are almost like photographs. He has obviously used real photographs of the people involved and typical Indian scenes to create lifelike pictures of the story. A small black and white drawing under the main text on each page is a nice addition.

This true story will encourage children to never give up. It has stayed true to Saroo Brierly’s original story and would make an excellent Christmas present for a loved one.

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

Distributed by: Penguin Books Australia
Released: November 2020
RRP: $24.99


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