This playful poem of a picture book captures a child’s wildness and warmth as he pretends to be a tiger.
From the moment he wakes up and roars for his breakfast, his tiger alter ego gives him permission to safely test the boundaries of family life. Whether growling for food, upsetting his father’s coffee cup, or cuddling with his parents, the tiger-child dances in hairy spatters across the page. The book’s dynamic, often busy illustrations and shadowy, hinted-at junglescapes communicate myriad rapidly changing childhood feelings and identities. While preschoolers will appreciate the wily tiger-child protagonist, the story’s poetic text might be a challenge for the younger range of the audience, as the unusual word choices, punctuation, and sentence structure in this translation from German are more sophisticated than typical American texts for this age group. However, child readers (and certainly adult caregivers) will identify with the book’s central messages: Children can experience a wide swath of feelings, everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has complicated ways of interacting with the world. This little tiger is by turns loud, fast, greedy, clumsy, wild, wary, clever, creative, grumpy, quiet, and loving. The final quiet pages offer a peaceful conclusion to the wild narrative ride, creating a soothing finish for younger children who might be both thrilled and perhaps alarmed at the antics and naughtiness of the tiger-boy.
Wildness is part and parcel of everyday childhood, embraced here with a roar. (Picture book. 4-8)