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THE DANCING TIGER by Malachy Doyle Kirkus Star


by Malachy Doyle & illustrated by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-670-06020-8
Publisher: Viking

This kind of alchemy is all too rare, where the spaces between the words hold layers of meaning, and the images expand, expound and explode the text in lovely ways. A little girl looks out her window over a green hill to the woods, where on the night of the full moon a tiger dances. She surprises him and he makes her an offer (“If you will keep me secret, / And never tell a soul / Then you may come and dance with me / On nights the moon is whole.”) Dance they do, through bluebells in the spring, leaves in the fall, waltzing “in winter snow.” Then the little girl’s long dark hair has turned silver, and she brings her golden-haired great-grandchild: “Let me give you Tiger’s hand— / The moon is rising high. / I’ll sit and watch you dancing both, / Beneath the starbright sky.” The oil-on-paper paintings fill the pages with velvety, luminous images, the tiger himself is as winsome and charming a beast as can be imagined, and one close-up of his surprised face will take your breath away. The dancing tiger might be a metaphor for many things, but its sweet power is undeniable. Magical. (Picture book. 3-8)