The Lion in Your Heart


Children - Animals
38 Pages
Reviewed on 10/20/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Children's book author R.C. Chizhov grew up in India, moved to New York in 2005, and spent sixteen years in the financial services industry, before pursuing her childhood dream of publishing a book: her new picture book release, The Lion in Your Heart.

R.C. lives with her husband and son and when she isn't writing heartwarming and poignant stories for children, she enjoys reading, traveling, dancing, solving jigsaw puzzles, and spending lots of time with family and friends.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Francis Mont for Readers' Favorite

The Lion in Your Heart, written by R.C. Chizhov and illustrated by Anil Yap, is a picture book for children aged 3 to 8. It addresses the fear young children experience when faced with unaccustomed places, unfamiliar things, and unexpected events. The text is divided into brief narrative passages or one-sentence questions and answers. It consists of a conversation between a little boy who is afraid to go to sleep in a new room after moving house and his mother, who comes in to calm his fears and put him to bed. Both the language and concepts are readily accessible to any small child with a basic level of English. Furthermore, each idea is accompanied by a clear, simple illustration on every page. It explains to the fearful child how to draw on his own emotional resources to confront and overcome a daunting task or situation.

This book is both appropriate to its audience and equal to its intended mission. R.C. Chizhov uses examples of situations the child might face in his present life, escalating in difficulty and projecting into an imagined future. It is a very effective device. I particularly like the mother’s realistic examples from her own experience, which shows that adults, too, can feel the same way and must resort to the same strategy, thus letting the child know it’s a universal experience, that he’s understood and not judged. The pictures are also very helpful in making those situations real. They are striking in their clean, bright color palette and fun to look at without distracting from the text, which is also enhanced by color and font size changes. I can recommend The Lion in Your Heart to both parents, caregivers, and teachers who deal with young children.

Tiffany Ferrell

In The Lion In Your Heart by R.C. Chizhov, we are introduced to Dennis, who is trying to adjust to the new home he and his parents moved to. Not familiar with his surroundings, he’s terrified to be in his room by himself. Crying out for his mother, Dennis tells her about the monster that is in his room. His mother tells him that he is safe and there is a lion in his room to protect him. Confused, Dennis looks everywhere but cannot find it. That’s when he learns the lion is inside him. She then explains that the lion will give him courage no matter what he does and when he needs it the most. Whether it’s learning to ride without training wheels or standing up in front of his whole class during show and tell, his mother assures him that the lion will help him. Knowing that he has a courageous lion inside him, Dennis isn’t scared of his new room anymore.

I thought The Lion In Your Heart was such an adorable read that will appeal to children. Many kids have issues when it comes to bedtime. This book gives reassurance to the young reader, but it also extends beyond just going to sleep; that the lion is everywhere you go, that you just have to believe in yourself. Dennis is a great main character that kids can relate to. On top of that, the illustrations are beautifully done and fit perfectly with the storyline. R.C. Chizhov has done a wonderful job with this book, and I can’t wait to see more of their work.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Did you know there is a lion in your heart? It’s always there, even if you can’t see it. It’s there to protect you and to share its courage with you. Dennis, having moved to a new home, is frightened by all the new sights and sounds. To help Dennis settle in his new room, his mom tells him there’s a friendly lion there to protect him, and they play a game of hide-and-seek looking for the lion. Do you know where they found it?

R.C. Chizhov’s picture book story, The Lion in Your Heart, is a fun and inspiring story for children to explore their fears. New things can be a little daunting, as young Dennis discovers, but with the help of his mom and the invisible lion she insists is inside him, Dennis can face his fears, like the shadows in the window. Even the night light doesn’t help; it only magnifies the shadows. The plot develops as it introduces the situation and Dennis’s growing fears until his mom helps him find the courageous lion, and Dennis feels safe again. The language is simple to help young readers follow along. The author uses various fonts to add another dimension to the story, and the bright, colorful illustrations certainly help move the action along. This sweet story gently encourages young readers to face their fears and remember that they are never really alone, especially if they have a lion in their heart. A beautiful story.