Reviews & Testimonials

'A gem. If you only read one more book this year, read this and give it to the children and young people in your life...True story or modern fable, the values are eternal and life enhancing. Making a distinction between friend and enemy doesn't lead anywhere.'

Lifescape Magazine

'A Roaring Good Read'

'Paul Sinclair's Shanti the Grass-eating Lion is an excellent modern-day fable that will appeal to children and parents alike. The story follows Shanti the talking Lion and the adventures he has with the rural Indian children. The book contains an underlying theme of encouraging children to develop good, moral characters and a greater appreciation of the world.

'All profits from the book will go to the Shanti Lion Children's Trust's dedicated work to providing orphanages across the world and the rehabilitation of child slaves and soldiers.'

Yoga Magazine

'This story is told by a Holy Man to some children in an Indian village. It is a story of love, respect and abundant living! A lost lion cub is adopted by local villagers but because they are poor, they can only feed him on fruit, vegetables, rice, milk and grass. Despite this unusual diet, he thrives until he is tempted by the local farm animals. How the villagers deal with this dilemma, the subsequent change in Shanti's status and the effect he has on those in trouble, make an unusual but life-changing story for young and old alike.'

Margaret Sawyer, Magnet Magazine

'Unconditional love emanates from every page of this delightful story. The main character is Shanti, a lion who, after being rescued as a cub and raised by people in a small village in India, chooses not to eat meat in order to prove his love for them. Shanti who in the story has a special relationship with the “Creator of the Universe,” becomes a spiritual leader to all who come into contact with him.

'The narrative, essentially a modern day fable which resonates across religions and cultures, provides adventure and excitement; there are goodies and baddies, and humor too (mostly provided by the antics of Shanti’s rat friend, Manik).

'The children in the story respond to Shanti’s wisdom and achieve some wonderful things, which in their turn may prove inspirational to young readers. Early in the story, helping an old widow harvest her crop is turned by Shanti into a game. Later on, he saves the life of the money-lender who has been trying to kill him. There is plenty of scepticism too: when a boy called Nanda tries to get his friend Mohan involved in his plans to take food from the town back to everybody in his village, as suggested by Shanti in a dream, Mohan scoffs, “Don’t be silly; even if there was such a thing as a grass-eating lion, and he could talk to you in dreams, how can we feed hundreds of people? We are just two small boys.’ But love and faith together, as we learn from this fable, can work miracles...

'Sinclair both wrote and illustrated the book to raise funds for the Shanti Lion Children’s Trust, whose work at present is mainly based in India. Details of “Shanti’s vision” is given in an afterword. One of the organisation’s aims is for young people to become involved in Action Clubs to make a difference, starting from within their own communities. Sinclair neatly includes an Action Club in his narrative, which should prove inspirational - be ready for clamours of “Can we do that?”

'This is definitely a book for sharing, whether as a family or a class. It would lend itself particularly well to being an RE resource, for its spiritual message resonates loud and clear, whatever one’s religious persuasion.'

Marjorie Coughlan,

See also Marjorie's blog entry Books at Bedtime at PaperTigers through this link.

'Jo read from Shanti to the children on our first afternoon together. We started the day with our opening circle in which each child lights a candle for our circle and we sing to greet each other. We made a wishing tree for our yurt in that time too. Then after lunch Jo led her session. She read to the children and talked with them about Action Clubs. They decided to go 'love raiding' to give appreciation to some of the adults who give a great deal to make our camp work for everyone. I can't tell you much about this because I ended up going off with one of the 5-year-olds to follow him a-wandering. I met the group with water melon and apple when they returned, all very excited and full of their adventures. They wanted to hear more of Shanti's story and I think Jo might have ended up reading the whole book if I had not rescued her at the end of a chapter and suggested that we close our session now. She looked pretty tired to me from holding the space, but she was also lit up with joy and delight. Later in the camp she finished reading the story, and though I don't think we made any more 'official' excursions as an Action Club, many of the children continued with random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. Some of the young boys cooked breakfast on the last day to help the cooks. We are talking about feeding about 250 people. The gas canister ran out while they were working and they had to fry dozens of eggs on an open fire. They were magnificent. This was done by young boys between 10 and 14.'

Fiona Collins's account of using Shanti the Grass-eating Lion to run action clubs at a Summer Camp

' A lovely story which encourages children (and adults!) to see beyond outward differences, live peacefully with one another and in harmony with the natural world. It is also a reminder that in co-operation with each other and through trust in that transcendent source of love and goodness, which some call God - there lies the power to effect change in our world.'

Sheena Gabriel; Lay Leader of 'Meadrow Unitarian Chapel', Godalming, Surrey

'I LOVED your book. I read it in one sitting and it was so beautiful it made me cry. I have given it to my Elementary teacher in our Montessori school to read to her 8 to 11 years olds.

Sheila O'Neill, Principal of St. Andrew's Montessori School

'...We loved, loved, loved it. I had to keep hesitating as I read aloud to my family because I was on the edge of crying! We loved him so much.'

Lotah, Australia

'...In the end I couldn`t put it down and I particularly liked the ending, which to me is really the beginning. I was, and still am, inspired.'

Michael Williams, College of Teachers, The Waldorf School of South West London

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