A tale of longing, friendship, and the power of freedom.
Originally published in Spain as Un buen día, this story features two unusual friends, a well-dressed cat and a tiger inhabitant of a retro-style zoo. The tiger lives in a rounded cage, where he is stared at by crowds of visitors, next to an elephant, monkeys, birds, and more—also in cages. The tiger longs for the wild, where he could roam as he pleased. The cat wants his friend to be happy and eventually finds a way to help him fulfill his dream. In so doing, the cat discovers a new friend at the zoo. Muted illustrations depict the zoo in a panorama that scrolls from spread to spread, giving readers a view of the exhibits. However, the design, which lays the zoo’s cages out in a line at the bottom of nearly all spreads that don’t depict the tiger’s natural habitat, while reflective of the monotony of zoo life, is repetitive and lacks interest and variety. One illustration—in which the tiger seems to act out his wish to leave the zoo—offers viewers an intriguing set of images laid out in vertical panels. Straightforward, dry dialogue belies the depth of the friendship between the tiger and cat. As a result, this story may need a grown-up to help young readers grasp the subtle humor.
An understated and perhaps too-quiet friendship story. (Picture book. 5-8)