Dandy the Highway Lion by Stephanie Sorrell

A distinctively vintage charm exudes from the story of Dandy! I felt as though I was transported to Mary Poppins’ London, where all manner of mischief finds its home.

Ben and Hattie have moved to London, away from their friends so their parents can work at important jobs. When they are ushered out of the house for some fresh air, they happen upon a lion doing callisthenics in the park, wearing a waistcoat and cravat and with a top hat nearby!

They soon become the best of friends even though Ben and Hattie do not necessarily approve of the Lion’s job! He is a highway lion, stealing from the rich- ones who have a nasty habit of treating animals poorly or hurting them. Dandy was taken from his mother and sold to Tower Zoo and has vowed vengeance on those cruel folk.

There is a greater plot afoot and it will take time, planning and a little unexpected help to pull it off! Hattie, Ben, Dandy and several other key characters will come together and there are plenty of twists to catch you off guard as you read!

This is a story filled with charm, vintage illustrations and the polite society that accepts lions, tigers and bears wandering around the great city. Dandy is a superb character, one filled with determination to see animals treated fairly and to protect those he frees. Ben and Hattie get involved in future plots to free creatures, sometimes landing themselves in heaps of trouble but always for the greater good.

I read this in one sitting, finding myself transported back in time and all the while feeling this would make for a brilliant film! I can imagine the vintage clothes, manner of speaking and the gorgeous talking lion wearing a waistcoat!

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