Posted in Animal Fiction, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Roar! A Tale of Friendship and Sleepless Adventure

roarRoar! by Julie Bayless (Oct. 2015, Running Press), $16.95, ISBN: 9780762457502

Recommended for ages 2-5

A little lion cub can’t get to sleep. When he tries to wake up his family to play, their snores send him roaming the savannah in search of fun. He meets a group of hippos and a group of giraffes, but his friendly “ROAR” scares them off, but he and a bunny hit it off perfectly, and spend the rest of the night yelling “ROAR!” and “MORE!” together!

Roar! is a fun tale of friendship and adventuring. Kids (and sleepy parents) will recognize themselves in the little lion cub, trying to no avail to wake up the sleepy grownups to have some fun. The little guy’s no predator, but his friendly exclamation scares off much bigger animals; when he meets a similarly spunky bunny, the fun begins.

The book mixes graphic novel-style panels with full-page spreads and shifts in perspective, making this a fun read that will keep little ones engaged. It’s interactive – I’ve read this to toddlers and preschoolers, and we’ve hollered “ROAR!” and “MORE!” to our hearts’ content as we read through the book. I had one group of toddlers demand a second reading, and the roars were wonderful!

The digital art has a beautiful sharpness to it. The backgrounds are largely dark violet-blue, with the animals crisply defined against them. There are few words to the story: mostly “Roar” and “More”, with a few snores, burps and sniffs thrown in for good measure, so there is a lot of room for interaction – kids can describe the land, name the animals the cub encounters, and veer off into their own narration.

Roar is a great storytime book, bedtime book, anytime book. It’s been kid-tested, mother and librarian approved – don’t miss it!


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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