The Butterfly Lion

Suitable for 7 - 11 years

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This item has 5 stars of a maximum 5

Rated 5/5 from 23 ratings

2 reviews (Add a review)

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Product description

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

Also available: Read and Respond activities to accompany The Butterfly Lion.

Product Details





Accelerated Reader

AR book level: 4.6; Middle years; 2.0 points

Other details

  • 128 pages




Michael Morpurgo

Photo of Michael Morpurgo


  1. cara
    on 29 April 2017

    love it

    I love it when Bertie found his lion.

    5 out of 5
  2. Teagan Leonard
    on 9 February 2016

    The Butterfly Lion

    I loved this book the end was the best part of it.Why I liked it so much is because it was written so well.

    5 out of 5

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What kids think

  1. Lovecat62
    on 27 January 2016

    This was the first book I read by Michael morpirgo its all about a butterfly lion and a little boy, the little boy finds him . I love it if you are reading this review and you think you might like it and you want it then download it or if you have it then read it . you should love it if you are similar to me.

    2 out of 5
  2. evelizabeth
    on 15 October 2015

    I love this book. It is sad because it is teaching people what will really happen in life.

    5 out of 5
  3. bluepeter123456
    on 10 September 2015

    A moving story about the friendship between a boy and a lion. I like the part when Bertie sees his lion again. It is an emotional story. This book would be a great movie.

    5 out of 5
  4. Ibiza1000
    on 1 July 2015

    Soooooooooooo sad, but a really good book!!!!!!!

    5 out of 5
  5. heart29
    on 7 March 2014

    a great insight into great world of African wildlife

    4 out of 5
  6. Cheerforevers
    on 7 March 2014

    This is about a boy who befriends a lion cub.

  7. zippy123
    on 5 March 2014

    loved this book

  8. abby840
    on 22 March 2013

    i love it!

    5 out of 5
  9. thunderball72
    on 9 March 2013

    Great book!Love it!

  10. Paradise56
    on 8 March 2013

    this book started of good but by the 3rd page it started getting boring

    1 out of 5
  11. Helloioioi
    on 8 March 2013

    morpurgo is so creative to write a book like this.

  12. supercoolcharm
    on 7 March 2013

    This book is hard to put down when you start reading it. It’s very sad in places and yet beautiful too. I love books that are centered around an animal.

    5 out of 5
  13. ninjastickman
    on 7 March 2013

    Jack runs away from school. He runs right out of there and he escapes to an old woman’s house where he learns of the butterfly lion. I would recommend an age rating of 9-12

    3 out of 5
  14. Justagirlatheartx
    on 7 March 2013

    An amazing book about a true friendship and love. A very enjoyable book. A master story teller at his best!!!

    5 out of 5
  15. natashakrywald
    on 7 March 2013

    very good. michael morpurgo books are amazing

  16. xxChocolateBoxGirlxx
    on 7 March 2013


  17. vintage12
    on 6 March 2013

    I think that the Butterfly Lion is an book which involves alot of adventure but is also sad at times in the book. It uses a lot of imagination and is a book which in my opinion would fit all age groups and maybe book types.

    5 out of 5
  18. rockstar101
    on 6 March 2013

    brilliant and amazing

  19. Sherlock25
    on 5 March 2013

    Very sad, don’t think i could read it again but its a great book :)

  20. CookieM
    on 4 March 2013

    This book is hard to put down when you start reading it. It’s very sad in places and yet beautiful too. I love books that are centered around an animal.

  21. A4WideRuledRefillPad
    on 4 March 2013

    I think this book is best to read when you can understand the meaning. I read this in year 5 and didn’t fully understand the ending, which meant that I didn’t feel all the emotion, a really good book but save it until you are around year 6/7

  22. samcharlie123
    on 4 March 2013

    This is a really good book. The story is amazing, and the relationship between the lion and the boy is extraordinary. I love this book.

    5 out of 5
  23. jesjen
    on 4 March 2013

    I want to read this as many people I know have read it and they liked it so maybe I will too. Also Michael Morpurgo is an amazing author who is just FAB!

  24. Nashdasher
    on 4 March 2013

    This is a charming adorable book great for young readers

    4 out of 5
  25. TwilightTeamEdward
    on 4 March 2013

    this is a really heart-warming story.

  26. lmdrld
    on 4 March 2013

    This is about a boy and a lion witha strong friendship.

  27. bouncybunny
    on 4 March 2013

    I borrowed this book from the school libary in year4 and thought it was a sweet book about friendship and that animals and people can be friends I was upset when the lion was sold to the circus

  28. stewie1027
    on 4 March 2013

    it was amazing and emotinal cry cry

  29. evil-penguin
    on 4 March 2013

    I think The Butterfly lion is a sad but at the same time funny and exciting book. This book is great for animal lovers but if you are lighthearted this book is not for you! I would give this book 8 out of 10 stars!

  30. 1Dluver2002
    on 4 March 2013

    i love michael morpurgo

  31. Swaggie
    on 4 March 2013

    I just loved this book its about this boy who has to be sent to boarding school. He ran away and met an old lady and talked she told about Bertie a boy who lived in Africa who fell in love with his white lion. when the lion passed away, Bertie and his friend made a chalk drawing on the white lion and at sundown the Adonis blues would come and drink the chalk and the picture of the white lion came to life. This book touched my heart. It’s a GREAT book to read!!!

    5 out of 5
  32. 098709
    on 1 March 2013

    this book is really lovely about a lion cub and his adventures good read!

    4 out of 5
  33. jenko006
    on 28 February 2013


  34. lions123
    on 24 February 2013

    i loved it but…i cried

  35. Gemma759
    on 23 February 2013

    Great book i,m nearly at the end of the book

    5 out of 5
  36. powerpush22
    on 19 February 2013

    It was an amazing story, me and my friend read it together and loved it.

  37. lissa2001
    on 16 January 2013

    this book was brilliant bertie the old woman and the white lion (the white prince) it made me love micheal morporgo books i nearly have his collection of books fo my age.

  38. Dandy1
    on 29 September 2012

    This is a great book!! It is really moving and appeals to quite a range of ages!

  39. sherlockbones217
    on 24 July 2012

    I like wild animals so I found it immensely interesting!

  40. imi264
    on 15 July 2012

    I thought this book was good because I liked the story line and the setting!

    4 out of 5
  41. lemonade123
    on 12 May 2012

    Quite a good book but there isnt any highs in the book it stays the same in intrest wise. Its okay :)

    3 out of 5
  42. Glitter9
    on 7 May 2012


    5 out of 5
  43. indigobeam
    on 3 March 2012

    This book has a fnatastic twist, as well as a strong end. The begining dissapointed me a little but aside from that this is amazing!

  44. nikki657
    on 3 March 2012

    this was an amazing book i just couldn’t put it down not even for a second

  45. Flissy22
    on 2 March 2012

    i tried reading this book but i rely didnt like it, i got very bored and then i stopped reading it.

  46. Jojinka
    on 2 March 2012

    Was really good and really enjoyed it, was very sad though, I almost cried!!!

  47. la1397
    on 2 March 2012

    I remember reading this when I was younger and finding it so heart wrenching. I would love to read it again, and would reccomend it to anybody who wants a great read that will touch your heart.

  48. emz162000
    on 1 March 2012

    i quite liked this book, but it wouldnt be one of my favourites though i would recomend it to others aged 9 – 11

  49. ehm
    on 1 March 2012

    This book is totally awesome!!!! I loved it from start to finish:-)

    5 out of 5
  50. angelslater
    on 1 March 2012

    for anyone wgho loves cute cuddly lions this book is for you. as a small boys finds a lion cub lost and abandoned and it grows up to become a circus lion. very moving story.

  51. booksrcul
    on 29 January 2012

    It is different. I think it has ghosts in it but I am not sure if they’re ghosts or not! Maybe spirits.

    3 out of 5
  52. kieramckenna
    on 28 January 2012

    ok i raeding it at school so far so sad AND GOOD

    5 out of 5
  53. hbnhr16
    on 24 January 2012

    i loved it

    5 out of 5
  54. 11bee
    on 10 November 2011

    i have read the first half of this book and i just think WOW! x you should def. read this

  55. moxie123
    on 8 November 2011

    The one and only white lion! GO MICHAEL MORPURGO!!!!!!! 5 OUT OF 5 STARS!

  56. emmabradfield
    on 6 October 2011

    5 out of 5 its such a good book but bits are sad

    5 out of 5
  57. prettyt98
    on 6 October 2011

    It’s a good book but tell us how the characters look like.

    4 out of 5
  58. beagle16
    on 30 September 2011

    a really good book for more confident readers

    5 out of 5
  59. CarribbeanCuba
    on 18 September 2011

    This book is really good, its emotional and makes you want to keep reading.

    5 out of 5
  60. lillylil
    on 12 August 2011


  61. luckygirl2011
    on 21 June 2011

    this book was really good i like it when the lion and boy met back up in france

    5 out of 5
  62. Poppy2012
    on 20 June 2011

    I love this book when I start reading it I just can’t but it back down, I would deffinatly reconmend this to alot of peolpe because it is so GREAT!!!!!!!

  63. FABIO-M
    on 18 May 2011

    I thought the butterfly lion was a lion that had butterfly wings. I didn’t understand the story because it kept on jumping time to time. I will rate this ‘not for me.’

  64. j8stannes
    on 17 May 2011

    We thought this book was amusing. It’s about a boy Bertie who goes hunting and finds a white lion. A frenchman comes and takes the lion away from Bertie. Bertie leaves the country and later on in life he finds it again.

    The part which made us laugh the most was when we met the frenchman with the lion again. You could really build up a picture in your head and place yourself at the scene.

    We also enjoyed the part where Bertie marries the lady. We think this was romantic. Everyone loves romance, don’t you?

    Our favourite part though was the clever twist at the end.

    We think this book is an all rounder with its good times and bad. We would recommend this book to anyone, so chop chop start reading!

  65. J7
    on 16 May 2011

    We read this book as a class and the majority of us thought that it was not for us. Generally, we prefer to read action books and found The Butterfly Lion too slow paced. Also, the author kept jumping between different times which confused us. However, a few of us really enjoyed reading this book. We loved reading about the developing friendship between Bertie and the lion, and found the plot unique and interesting. We would recommend this book to animal lovers and those who enjoy an emotional read.

    2 out of 5
  66. horse36
    on 5 March 2011

    I really, really love this book. I like Michael Morpurgo’s books even though some are quite sad. Michael Morpurgo’s books are for all ages, young and old.

    5 out of 5
  67. kelandab
    on 3 March 2011

    We read this at school so did lots of work on it. It is really interesting even though the cover looks a bit groen up. My mum bought me tghis book to read again.

    5 out of 5
  68. Teddybear737
    on 3 March 2011


    Here is my review:

    There is a baby lion called Bertie, who loses his mother along the way on a journey and in the end he finds his mother. The Butterfly Lion is a great book and I reccomend to my friedns, family and everyone.

    5 out of 5
  69. sam13
    on 20 February 2011

    This book is the best book and when i read this story in school. It was fabulous. i would love to get the aurthor’s autograph. How the scool boy got in trouble and Nanny nasein no lips millie the story teller the circus owner bertie bertie’s mum and dad and his friend who he met and how he gets for the army and his friend becomes a nurse and togerther they will find the lion cub

    4 out of 5
  70. dog90
    on 16 February 2011

    i have not read it but by best friend best book she ever read

    5 out of 5
  71. tangled133
    on 12 February 2011

    i am almost finished with the butterfly lion but it is really good and it will touch both young and old heartsabout the war and losing somthing a little boy loves best book by michael morpurgo it might bring a tear to your eyes.

    5 out of 5
  72. Babi20
    on 3 February 2011


    5 out of 5
  73. pikachu8
    on 30 January 2011

    I really enjoyed it. I recommend this book to anyone espesially people who have a sense of emotion!

    5 out of 5
  74. wimpy01
    on 30 January 2011

    I read it and I think it is brilliant!About Bertie and the lion AWW, it says it’s a true story! It’s very heart warming, about lasting friendship and loylty.

    5 out of 5
  75. Fifi44
    on 29 January 2011

    its really good so far

    5 out of 5
  76. maisie5
    on 25 January 2011

    this is an amazing story I didn’t like it at first but as I read through it it grew on me I think that everyone should read this books also I think that Michael morpurgo is an amazing writer and I have read many of his books

    5 out of 5
  77. pianostar412
    on 23 January 2011

    Its an amazing book that everyone will love! I read it with my class and everyone cried even my teacher! M.J.M:)

    5 out of 5
  78. Lulagee2000
    on 22 December 2010

    This book is lovely, it is full of detail. the first time i read it was when i was in year 3, 2 years ago and my teacher read it to us, at first i didn’t listen to it much because most books my teachers pick out are rubbish and then i got bored so started to listen and it was fantastic and at the end it made me cry and it was the first time i had ever heard a Micheal Morpurgo book!

  79. Cleosly
    on 6 December 2010

    This book is great!!!! It hade loads of adjectives and e motion. As all good writers do they make you feel like your the boy (main character). The story is about a boy going to a boarding school and escapes he meats a lady and learns the story of the butterfly loin.

    4 out of 5
  80. wawa46
    on 4 December 2010

    it gets boring at some bits although i really enjoyed it

    3 out of 5
  81. ab52725
    on 31 August 2010

    At the start I hated it but at the end I loved it so much that I cried

    5 out of 5
  82. Molly13579
    on 31 August 2010

    Hi I would recomend this book to anyone. From Kim Rawlings Michael Morpurgo Fan

    5 out of 5
  83. rosilia2213
    on 30 April 2010

    Its a really great book, with twists all the way, I loved it, we read this book in school and everybody enjoyed reading it! I would definitely recommend this book to anybody. Even adults!

    5 out of 5
  84. glitterdolphin
    on 28 April 2010


    5 out of 5
  85. rory27
    on 2 April 2010

    It is a great book. I love it . Because i like lions. I recememend it you will enjoy it if you are reading it at the moment. I like the bit where the boy rescues the lion.

    5 out of 5
  86. xxisabellatrixx
    on 11 March 2010

    I loved this, It was The First book i fully enjoyed!

    5 out of 5
  87. Hubert
    on 7 March 2010

    I liked it. If you like animals read this book!

    4 out of 5
  88. FedyTedy
    on 6 March 2010

    LOVED IT! best i have read in ages :D it was AMAZING jaw dropping,eye popping book that is soo amazing i’d recomend it from the most easy going to the most stuck up snobs i think anyone can love it <3

    :) read some more o f my reviews :)

    5 out of 5
  89. PIXE
    on 5 March 2010

    this book is grand at somepoint you feel sad but then you dont. I feel sad for Birtie I think he woud feel like a cage animal

  90. fairytale2
    on 17 February 2010

    Good.I liked it alot! I would recommend it to all animal lovers.

    5 out of 5
  91. 1stripes1
    on 15 February 2010

    i think this book is quite intresting and i like books about animals i would say i love that book called-the butterfly lion

    5 out of 5
  92. Africa1626
    on 3 February 2010

    This book was great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    5 out of 5
  93. MillseyZDM
    on 14 November 2009

    I think this book was really touching. The illustrations are very good too. I like the way Michael Morpurgo wrote it to be sad which just made the book so much book.

    5 out of 5
  94. style-sister
    on 17 October 2009

    this is a bok with a brilliant story-line.Bertie spend all of his childhood behind a fence but wants to change a white lions life forever!!!!!

    5 out of 5
  95. Holsky
    on 12 October 2009

    This book is a very lovely story as Bertie spent all his life behind a fence that he decided he was going to change his and the little white lion cubs life.I love the way Micheal describes him finding millie and becoming best friends, not being able for their hearts to be separated no matter what happend. I also love that their is a reason to the story as some storys are just told with no reason.

    5 out of 5
  96. george99
    on 1 October 2009

    this was a sad but good book.I really liked it .

    5 out of 5
  97. heatherzz5
    on 30 September 2009

    it is a verry good book andit is good to read

  98. Kids53
    on 30 September 2009

    This book by Michael Mourpurgo is a wonerful book. A little boy hates his school and plans to run away. Whilst he is running he meets this old lady and she tells him about the Butterfly Loin. A boy called Bertie, then he finds a white lion cub with a loiness. Then one night he hears he dad saying we caught a massive lioness. Bertie’s heart was torn about.

    Rating out of 10… ! 10out of 10 Lee Year 6

    5 out of 5
  99. charlett10
    on 30 September 2009

    I think this looks gr8 dont u people think so?!!!!!!!!!!!=)

    5 out of 5
  100. cat-1998
    on 26 September 2009

    i love this book i have read it twice because i didnt get the endind and because i luv it

    5 out of 5
  101. monkeysbananas
    on 20 September 2009

    This book kinda pulls at your heartstrings. It’s a great read! I recommend it completely! I loved it and the story plot is brilliant!

    5 out of 5
  102. timmim
    on 20 September 2009

    I love this book. It is great, one of my fave reads. it is a sad but happy story and you feel amazing emotions for the characters.

    Buy it, It is great.

    5 out of 5
  103. alidai92
    on 18 September 2009

    this book is one of michael morpurgo’s best books. i loved reading it !!!!!

    5 out of 5
  104. StanboroughH7
    on 10 September 2009

    The Butterfly lion is one the best books Michael Morpurgo has written. The book is about a boy who goes to boarding school, but missed home so much that he decided to catch a train home. I’m afraid that is all I’m going to tell you, but If your interested in this book, (you should be) then buy a copy of it, or borrow it from a library.

    5 out of 5
  105. orbisunum
    on 9 September 2009

    I loved it, I was originally reading it in year 6 at a new school and its just so affectionate. Its a boy who runs away from school and comes across this old woman who tells him of the young boy.

  106. hornet
    on 31 August 2009

    It is a heart rending story about a yong boy living in Africa that befriends a white lion. It is all about how they are sepperated but always find oneother and become the bestest friends you could ever be!

    5 out of 5
  107. bookworm551
    on 18 August 2009

    The book is interesting.I like it.

    5 out of 5
  108. Tottenham4lyfe
    on 13 August 2009

    this book is amazing i know it does start of slightly boring but keeep going with it that is what i did and the rest of story is fenominal, it moved me because it was soo well writen with enough description but not loads so you can be there while it is all happening, you can be billy if you let your mind go imagine .with all of the michael morpurgo books i have read they are all soo well writen that you can be the main charcter there you can do everything they can so weel done and thank you again mr.morpurgo another amazingly written book as per usual!!!! i would reccomend this book to any one and rate it a well deserved 10/10!!!!

    5 out of 5
  109. jackos123
    on 19 June 2009

    I loved this book. The way Michael Morpurgo weaves realistic situations into a ficton book is amazing. I would defenitely reccomend this book. But only to the ages above 9 as it has some very extended language used, though not innopropriate words.

    5 out of 5
  110. Ben05
    on 6 June 2009


    5 out of 5
  111. Soapi-Sixpence
    on 30 April 2009

    The butterfly lion is a very touching, sad yet interesting story, which i really enjoyed.

    4 out of 5
  112. finley26
    on 26 April 2009

    i loved that book i read it in yr4 it was coooooooool

    5 out of 5
  113. karenmccombie
    on 28 October 2008

    It is a good book!

    4 out of 5
  114. carrietriplet2
    on 4 October 2008

    i love all animals especially wild ones so i liked this book

    4 out of 5
  115. Barniecoles
    on 1 October 2008

    this book is really good. it has lots of different emotions, happy, sad, excited, lonely. I recommend it to anyone who loves animals!

    5 out of 5
  116. mypoppet900
    on 30 September 2008

    i am reading this book at the moment and are loving it so far it is great i would recomend this to micial mipergo lovers

    4 out of 5
  117. cangle
    on 24 September 2008

    i fink this book is very good

    4 out of 5
  118. Livvy
    on 21 September 2008

    I thought this was a great book but it was very sad and I cried.

    5 out of 5
  119. keeboy
    on 20 September 2008

    hey About iluvbooks why did you say you liked it and then said on the rate it was rubish?

    5 out of 5
  120. Wish-I-Was-Taken
    on 27 August 2008

    It was sad and funny and at bits happy.

    4 out of 5
  121. cab00dle
    on 13 August 2008

    I am 11 coming up 12 (year 2008) and i thourght that it was a easy read. Other wise it was realy good.

    4 out of 5
  122. zero
    on 23 June 2008

    i thought it was really good.

    5 out of 5
  123. molliedog
    on 12 June 2008

    It’s brilliant with the twists and turns of the tale

    5 out of 5
  124. TimesSquare
    on 7 March 2008

    I love this book because it was so addicting and it was set in the safari desert and i like it when it said about the sun setting in the sky! The bassic story line is that a young boy aged 3 suddenly takes note of the water hole but only when he was10 he asked to go out and help his father shoot stray animals! His dad obviously said no but a few evenings later he sees a baby lion surrounded by Heanas is going to be eaten! The boy climbes over the fence and rickes his life for the lion but he got back safly with the lion and his mum spotted him and rescued the boy! She let’s him bring him up in the house. One day the dad says he must go but the mum peswdes him to let the lion stay for a few more monthes.

    5 out of 5
  125. iluvbooks
    on 1 March 2008

    This book was brilliant book to read I think it is a bit sad and happy book so if you like sad and happy books read it you’ll like it.

    5 out of 5
  126. Nics08
    on 1 March 2008

    I think this is a brilliant book because it has a lot of twists and it is sad but amazing at the same time! It just makes you want to read on!

    5 out of 5