Illustrated by: Jesse Hodgson
Published by: Otter-Barry Books UK 2018 and in USA 2019
Ages: 4- 8 years
Theme: Art, Fear. Animals, reassurance
Opening Lines: At the art gallery, Tom watches the tiger. And the tiger watches Tom. From between the jungly leaves, his eyes follow Tom around the room.
Synopsis: From Amazon… One day Tom draws a tiger, inspired by his visit to the art gallery… That night, when Tom can’t sleep, the tiger pads out of his drawing and purrs, “Let’s go for a walk!” It’s the beginning of a magical and life-changing adventure, as the tiger helps Tom to overcome some of his biggest fears.
Why I like this: The little boy in this book so reminded me of myself as a very young child. I loved lions. Although I don’t remember when I first saw a lion I only remember I loved drawing them. I remember very clearly in a classroom which I was looking after while the teacher was out of the room and the kids begged me to draw a lion. So on the huge blackboard I drew a lion with its’ long mane. It must have been really good as I remember the teacher coming back into the room and standing there for some time before saying – I was her favorite lion drawer. I think for me it was the softness of the animal, the thick mane and the sense of protection that drew me to love the animal. (Although I probably had no idea of its voraciousness) I loved how Tom went home and drew the animal and how in his dreams it came to life. I love how the story shows how Tom learns to overcome his fears with the help and guidance of the tiger. I love the use of page turns and the Tiger’s constant reassurance and the “Hold tight” refrain. Along with Jesse’s beautiful deep colors of the night the Tiger is depicted as gentle even in his facial features – sometimes smiling. The story builds to a gentle climax when two snow tigers appear- how frightening! But all too soon Tom is tired and along with the realization of what he has overcome, I love how Jessie has Tom falling asleep between the Tiger’s paws. This is both a sweet bedtime story as well as an introduction to kids realizing their dreams and to the beauty of art.
In the back of the book is a piece about Henri Rousseau and his painting “Surprised!” painted in 1891 and often called “Tiger in a Tropical Storm” which hangs in the National Gallery in London England.
Resources/Findings: The author’s blog: http://www.diannehofmeyr.com/2018/06/27/tiger-walk/
Facts about the painting…. http://mentalfloss.com/article/65593/15-things-you-should-know-about-rousseaus-tiger-tropical-storm
How to draw a tiger…. http://www.howtodrawanimals.net/how-to-draw-a-tiger
More info about the painter and painting… http://www.theartwolf.com/landscapes/rousseau-surprised.htm
Henri Rousseau also painted The Sleeping Gypsy – see my earlier post… https://thepatientdreamer.com/2019/06/01/perfect-picture-book-friday-172/
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