Pillowed hardcover, not a Board Book binding.
ISBN 2894332513 (5 stars) - This is now the third Disney version of The Lion King that I've read, I thought I'd found the best of them in 0307127923. I stand corrected with this one. Although it's small, nearly pocket sized, and it's one of those "novelties", with a pillowed hardcover, this edition is better than the rest (so far!). For the sake of comparison I will, again, merge the reviews.
This third edition is, by far, the smoothest flowing storytelling I've found to date. Leaving out almost nothing, from the beginning to the end, it captures every important moment, running them fluidly together. This makes a much more complete and easy to follow - and enjoy! - story. Brimar's edition seems to be author-less, sadly, so it won't be possible for me to hunt down anything else from the writer - which is only one of two negatives I can find here. The other is that the text is a little small and the font not great.
The first edition I reviewed: ISBN 0717283534 (4 stars) - This is the Disney's Wonderful World of Reading edition of The Lion King. Because there are so many, and they vary so much, I think it's important not to confuse them. Some parents might be reluctant to introduce their child to the story because of the murder of Simba's father and the later killing of Scar. If that's a concern for you, this book might be best passed by for now.
The illustrations are absolutely beautiful, even a step above Disney's usual standard excellence. The story is very slightly disjointed because it's condensed, but the high points are covered and those who have seen the movie will have no trouble following. On the other hand, those who haven't seen the movie might not even notice what's missing! Either way, a chance to read with your child should never be missed and a wonderful Disney tale is always worthwhile.
ISBN 0307127923 (5 stars) - This is the second version of Disney's The Lion King that I've read. All three tell the same story, but this one is a bit better. Hover's adaptation includes more detail and flows more smoothly. The illustrations by the team of Judy Barnes and Robbin Cuddy are very good and the mood of the moment is captured in fantastic colors.
Simba's birth is cause for celebration in the jungle - the future king is presented to one and all, and all show up. Except, that is, Scar. Scar is Simba's uncle, brother of King Mufasa and, until Simba's birth, next in line for the throne. Scar hatches several plans to get rid of Simba and reclaim his place, finally resorting to killing his brother and encouraging Simba to give in to his guilt and run away.
Befriended by Timon and Pumbaa, Simba grows to his full size. He misses his loved ones and, thanks to a chance encounter with his childhood friend Nala and the guidance of Rafiki, Simba returns home to take back his place as king.
Disney's The Lion King in Lttle Golden Book format