The Butterfly Lion

Deep in the burning African veld, a young boy rescues an orphaned white lion cub. But when the lion is sold to a circus, the friends are torn apart. How will their story end? This modern classic from Michael Morpurgo sweeps from a British boarding school to the African wilderness, and from the First World War to the present day. Full of striking landscapes and dramatic encounters, it is a vivid and heartwarming story of friendship against all the odds.

Winner of the Nestlé Smarties Gold Award.

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Recent reviews

  • I have listened to this book on a CD. I really enjoyed listening to it. It was sad when the tiger cub died and the boy called Bertie. It had mystery and the story was amazing. I recommend this book to anyone who likes sad stories.

    8 June 2016

  • loved it

    Loved it. For me this book is a 10/10! Very interesting book for animal lovers and adventure seekers. I have read this book 4 times it has never gotten boring!

    16 March 2015

  • loved it

    Wow! This book is a very touching story all about a boy named Bertie who ran away from Boarding school and meets an old lady who tells him a story about her husband who was also called Bertie and how his lion got sold to a French circus and how they met again when they were older.

    18 June 2014

  • not for me

    this book was all right the first time but boring to read twice

    17 March 2014

  • loved it

    The Butterfly Lion is a heart warming yet bitter-sweet story. Bertie is a lonely little boy in South Africa who one day adopts an orphaned white lion cub, who then becomes his best friend. They have a wonderful companionship but things take a turn for the worst when Bertie is sent to boarding school in England and his father sells the cub to a French circus owner. Their separation is heart breaking, however Bertie promises to find him again.

    9 March 2014

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  • Photo of Michael Morpurgo

    Michael Morpurgo

    Master storyteller Michael Morpurgo has written over 100 books for children, and has won a multitude of awards as well as serving as Children’s Laureate from 2003-2005.


    Michael was the Children’s Laureate 2003-2005, and has won many awards including The Whitbread Prize For The Wreck of the Zanzibar, the Smarties prize for The Butterfly Lion the Blue Peter Award for Private Peaceful and the Red House award for Shadow.

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