The Lion in the Meadow by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Jenny Williams has been reissued this year, 2013. The original copyright was 1969, but in 1986, Jenny Williams was asked to change to art and update it. This 1986 version is what is reprinted this year.
The Lion in the Meadow was the beginning for both author and illustrator. I love the watercolors, gouache, and colored pencil art. The pictures depict realistic drawings, but also allows for the child's imagination to flow.
I contacted Jenny Williams and she said that this version was done when she had her own family, so the illustrations were redone with her children and their toys featured in it. There was an early reader version done this year, also, but it has been edited and chopped down to fit the requirements of an early reader. I prefer the picture book format, myself.
I hadn't seen this title before, but I identified with a few of the items in the art; the Dr. Scholls shoes, the Brown glass or ceramic chicken in the kitchen, and the pattern of the dishes. Williams said that the house and land were based on their place in Wales.
I'd use this with preschoolers to 1st or 2nd grade. It's a terrific title for getting fantasy ideas going and for teachers and parents could use this as a story to help children look at what is real and what is fantasy.