This metafictive romp follows a child who encounters, flees from and then befriends a tiger.
The protagonist’s direct address and gaze immediately engage readers with the question, “Are you ready for a story?” Ensuing pages deliver a hide-and-seek narrative as the child spies: a tiger’s tail amid swinging monkeys; its shadow hidden in a bat cave; its tail hidden among slithering snakes; and its body camouflaged by flowers. The tiger seems less than fearsome, but the child nevertheless flees when it appears disguised as a ship's captain, and again when it emerges with a roar from a treasure chest. But, lo and behold, the tiger isn’t roaring after all; it’s only yawning. “If we scratch his ears and rub his belly, maybe he’ll go to sleep,” the child says. “Better yet, let’s tell him a story.” A page turn finds the child back at the opening scene with the monkeys to start the story again. This time, however, a crocodile tail (rather than the initial scene’s tiger tail) hangs from above, delivering a punch line that promises another race through the jungle, if a rather obvious quasi-resolution. Throughout, Tankard’s vibrant ink and digitally rendered illustrations express the excitement and fun of the story, elevating the exuberant text to ideal storytime fare.
It’s a tiger, and it’s sure to be a hit. (Picture book. 3-5)