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TIGER OF THE SNOWS by Robert Burleigh

TIGER OF THE SNOWS

Tenzing Norgay: The Boy Whose Dream Was Everest

By Robert Burleigh (Author) , Ed Young (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-83042-4
Publisher: Atheneum

A gorgeously illustrated praise-song illuminates the yearnings and achievement of Tenzing Norgay, recently recovered from history as the Nepalese Sherpa who, along with Sir Edmund Hillary, conquered Mount Everest in 1953. Burleigh’s present-tense free-verse poem strings epithets together in Homeric fashion: “Tenzing Norgay, / Sherpa, / Mountain man, / Tiger of the snows . . . ” The effect is intense, the epithets giving way to clipped phrases that kaleidoscopically evoke the effort of climbing. The white-on-black text appears in appropriately vertical panels that frame Young’s spectacular pastels, his fuzzy lines alternately mimicking blowing snow or the parka-clad forms of the climbers themselves. The book’s landscape orientation gives breadth to the paintings, allowing a long-shot view of Everest, its bulk dwarfing the tiny smudged dots of a line of climbers in the foreground. A pre-dawn image of the last morning of the ascent places readers in a close-up behind Tenzing’s goggles, looking into Hillary’s uncannily lit face. The favor is returned at the top of the world, as Tenzing’s smiling face gazes into Hillary’s camera, the Himalayas spreading out in the background. A striking, inspiring tribute. (afterword) (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)