Friday, September 7, 2012

Book #251: It’s a Tiger by David LaRochelle, Illustrated by Jeremy Tankard

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I hope you aren’t afraid of tigers because no matter how fast he runs, climbs, or swims the boy in this book can’t seem to get away from tigers! Each time he thinks he’s escaped he finds the tiger lurking on the next page. The boy and tiger run from a lush green jungle to a sunlit meadow to an ocean, but what will happen when the two characters find themselves face to face on a very tiny desert island? The ending to this action-packed book is delightful and playful.

Written in first person present tense, Rochelle’s text gallops along at a fantastic pace. The repeated refrain of “It’s a tiger!” combined with the formula (run, think it’s safe, see a glimpse of a tiger, freak out, repeat) make this a wonderfully interactive book. The text provides sound effects that add fuel to the adrenaline packed plot. Tankard’s illustrations, rendered in ink and digital media, create landscapes saturated with lime greens, lemon yellows, neon oranges, and icy blues. Black brush strokes of varied thicknesses provide definition and perspective.

This is a great book to read to a group of toddlers or preschoolers who have a lot of energy. Read it standing up and have them act out the book with you. Tiptoe past the snakes and climb up the ladder to escape the tiger.

Use this book for a tiger or letter T themed storytime. Try pairing it with other stories about tigers, such as Leo the Late Bloomer or Sam and the Tigers. Try rhymes like, Did You Ever See a Tiger?

Follow up by crafting some tigers, which could be used as props to help kids retell the story. Try some paper bag tigers or paper plate tigers. Dress up like tigers. Cut orange fabric into strips and use black markers or paint to make stripes. These strips can then be tied around each child’s waist to make a tail. Make orange and black cat ear headbands.

On a fun side note, I was browsing LaRochelle’s website and found out that he is a professional pumpkin carver, as well as an author of children’s and young adult books.


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