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Little Lion: A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly, illustrated by Bruce Whateley

Title: Little Lion: A Long Way Home

Author: Saroo Brierly, illustrated by Bruce Whateley

Genre: Non-fiction

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 3rd November 2020

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 40

Price: $24.99

Synopsis: The extraordinary and inspiring true story that became an internationally bestselling book and award-winning film, Lion. Now a stunning picture book illustrated by multi-award-winning illustrator, Bruce Whatley.

The extraordinary true story of survival that became an international bestseller and was made into the award-winning film, Lion, starring Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel. Now a stunning picture book illustrated by award-winning illustrator Bruce Whatley.

Can you imagine being lost and not finding your way home again?

Saroo Brierley became lost on a train in India when he was only five. He survived for weeks on the streets, before being taken into an orphanage and adopted by his Australian family.

Despite being happy, Saroo always wondered about where he was from. And one day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for.

This incredible true story celebrates the importance of hope and never giving up.


When Saroo Brierly was found in 1986 on the streets of Calcutta, he’d travelled a long way from home, and had lost his brother. Nobody could find his family, and he was deemed an orphan, and adopted by the Brierly family from Australia. He spent twenty-five years living in Tasmania with a loving family, who did all they could to help him adjust. But he never forgot his home and family in India. It was always part of him, just as his life in Australia was.

A chance discovery on Google Earth sets Saroo on the long journey home – to a place he knows so well yet has been away from for so long. A place whose name he’s forever known but has been just out of reach – the words changing on his young tongue as he learned to pronounce words.

Saroo’s story is powerful and touching – the story of a young life touched by two loving families, and a reunion that is tear-jerking for many reasons. Poignant and lovely, this is the latest edition of Saroo’s story, which also has adult and younger reader editions, and now children embarking on their first reading journey can experience this story of family, adoption and journeys home. It can be used to explain orphans and adoption, and the different types of families, and what it means to have two families who love you, and being able to have both in your life – the impact that all these people have had and the importance they will continue to have.

This moving and beautifully illustrated story captures the ups and downs of life, and the realities of life, in a gentle way that younger children can understand and start to come to terms with. Saroo’s story is evocative and emotional in whatever format it has been read or viewed in, and Bruce Whateley’s exquisite illustrations look as though they’re based on photos from Saroo’s life – they look like they could be photographs, and work well with the story – when put together, they capture the spirit and emotion of Saroo’s journey and the bright colours give hope and joy to a story that at times is hard and sad. The combination of these emotions is the tug that readers need to go on Saroo’s journey – to know he will be okay and that he will find the family he thought he had lost forever.

A perfect story for all – to talk about adoption, family, India and loss – and any other questions that come up along the way for readers of all ages.

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