Mr. Yowder and the Lion Roar Capsules

Aug 25, 2015 by

Book Review by Melissa Rawlins

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Mr. Yowder and the Lion Roar Capsules

Written and Illustrated by Glen Rounds

 

Glen Rounds was born in 1906. By the time of his children’s book’s publication in 1976, Mr. Rounds was not dead. He took time to write a story set in the Great Depression describing circumstances that could be depressing if one allowed that malady to set in. But his narrator watched closely the actions of his protagonist, Mr. Yowder, and then documented the entrepreneurial spirit that kept Mr. Yowder, sign painter, from drowning himself in a vat of glossy black.

Inspiring though he is, for his ability to hope in the face of every imaginable obstacle, Mr. Yowder has been documented in this chapter of his life by an observer who sees through a glass darkly. From the perspective of an amateur psychologist, it’s hard to tell whether the narrator or the hero is more interesting.

From the perspective of a child, the question of “Who do you like best?” will require sifting through an array of characters from women and men to ducks, dogs and, of course, a lion. When reading this book to a child, there will be multiple reasons to stop and ponder while pointing to historical details sketched in pencil. Mr. Rounds’ artistic ability is evenly balanced between graphics and linguistics.

Hiding political topics — from economics to animal rights to hunger — inside cleverly far-fetched humor, Mr. Yowder and the Lion Roar Capsules teaches life lessons to readers of every age. Adults should take a good half hour to review the hardcover prior to reading it to children, for the climax of Mr. Rounds’ imaginative story returns the reader to reality in a rather rough manner — not unlike the days Mr. Rounds recorded in his gem of historical fiction.

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