If you’re like me, you might see a book cover pop up on your Pinterest feed and think to yourself, a new book by Mac Barnett and Adam Rex? How did I miss that? I pinned it away and forgot about it until I happened upon Chloe and the Lion in Barnes and Noble the other day. Needless to say, it came home with me (and not just because of my crush on Mac Barnett).
Olive’s graduated out of picture books. In fact, she’s usually so face-down in a chapter book or graphic novel that I don’t read to her every day anymore. Gone are the days of sharing a picture book together. Or are they? Chloe and the Lion is so sophisticated, so meta, so funny — I had a hunch that Olive would love it, and I was right.
We meet Chloe, a girl who collects coins to go on the merry-go-round. No, wait. First we meet Mac, the author of the book, and Adam, the illustrator of the book. One day Chloe found a lot of change and went on the merry-go-round until she was dizzy and walked in circles until she ended up in a dark forest where a huge lion lept out from behind an oak tree. No, wait. The picture shows a dragon, not a lion. And so begins an argument between author and illustrator about what would be cooler in the book.
Hilarious, right? And the book is ten times funnier. Olive was in fits of giggles when we were reading it. We got to a part where Chloe asks a lumberjack for help with her predicament and the woodcutter replied, “I only go after wolves dressed as old ladies.” Olive screamed, “I don’t know what that means but it’s SO FUNNY!” Tonight she did a dramatic reading for me and her grandma, and it was a couch full of three generations of giggles.
I have no choice but to give Chloe and the Lion the Media Macaroni Seal of Approval.