Friday, February 8, 2013

Tigers and Tigers and Tigers, Oh My!

Tigers are enjoying a surge of popularity in the picture book world these days.  There is, of course, Caldecott Honor book Sleep Like A Tiger, in which an unnamed little girl (wearing a crown)  does not want to go to sleep. She asks her parents whether all the animals in the world go to sleep, including the tiger (note the stuffed animal in bed beside her!).  The simple but deliberate language is complimented by lush illustrations with no white space left on the page.  Finally, her (royal) parents reassure her that she does not have to sleep, she only has to stay in bed, uttering a sentence that has come out of my mouth nearly word for word and is familiar to many parents, "You can stay awake all night long."  Of course she does not end up doing so.  This book is beautiful and justly deserving of the Caldecott Honor and the other accolades it has received.  

Eric Rohmann, the illustrator of Oh, No! employs a bold, black-outlined style of art that contrasts dramatically from that in Sleep Like A Tiger (although it too, leaves no white space on the page).  The content differs dramatically too, with the tiger taking his more usual place as a jungle predator, trying to trap his prey in a hole.  At the end, the tiger gets his comeuppance.  The refrain "oh, no!," the repetitive language, and the onomatopoeic sounds give this book a rhythm all its own that is sure to appeal to the toddler and preschool set.

Read to Tiger lacks the fine-art quality illustrations of the above two books, but the illustrations are sweet and the story appealing.  A little boy is trying to read his book and keeps being interrupted by a tiger (seemingly a stand-in for a younger sibling, although I doubt children would pick up on that).  Tiger tries to be quiet but just can't help himself from choo-choo-ing as a train or hi-ya-ing as he practices karate.  A solution that pleases everyone is found in the end, with the little boy reading to Tiger, who is curled up against him.

What other books feature tigers?  Are they recent or from your childhood?


  1. I always love _Who Is The Beast_ by Keith Baker, where a tiger is shocked to find that everyone fears him. Apparently our hero is a kinder, gentler sort of creature.

  2. Thanks, Beth! I just put it on hold at the library.