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Tiger on a Tree (Ala Notable Children's Books. Younger Readers (Awards)) Hardcover – March 5, 2004
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2--A curious tiger swims across a river and roams the forest looking for adventure. Frightened by the cry of a small animal, he climbs a tree. A group of dhoti-garbed village men discovers him and decides to capture him. After placing a large net around the tree, they blow horns and bang drums to create a racket, eventually scaring the creature down. Now the men have a problem: What should they do with the animal? "Send him to the zoo?/Stick him up with glue?/Paint him an electric blue?" Finally, they decide to set him free. The appealing illustrations are naive, childlike, and dramatic. Biswas uses a limited palette of black, white, and orange to create vivid scenes. The faces of the human characters are filled with personality and expression, while the tiger's emotions are conveyed through his body language and eyes. The simple text curves playfully across the pages, adding to the sense of motion in the artwork. This tale from India can be paired with Helen Bannerman's The Story of Little Babaji (HarperCollins, 1996) for an enjoyable storytime.--Linda Staskus, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PreS. First published in India in 1997 and an international prizewinner at the Bratislava Biennale of Illustrations, this very simple chanting story is perfect for reading aloud with young preschoolers. A tiger lopes along the shore until a deer suddenly scares him, rousing him to take shelter in a tree, where the villagers find him. They are scared of him ("Will he bite? He might!"), but they trap him in a net ("Get him! Net him! Tie him tight!"). Now what? Someone suggests they set the tiger free, and they agree: "Let him go!" The words in thick, black type are part of the action, and the thickly stroked illustrations, mostly black and white, have occasional splashes of orange: in the sun, on the tiger's back, and in the net that traps him. The comedic drama blends smoothly with the conservation message in deliciously scary sound words and pictures that will make this a favorite for sharing again and again. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
In this tale, an almost perpetually amused large cat is on a kind of journey. It goes down to a shore, crosses a river, scares an animal, and climbs a tall tree. One of the local fisherman sees the tiger perched and shouts the alarm. Soon all the men in the village have gathered to discuss the treed feline. They set up a net around the perimeter of the tree and the tiger (no longer looking amused at its own adventures) is scared out of the branches by a cacophony of loud instruments, and straight into the trap. Catching a tiger is one thing. Figuring out what to do with him next is another entirely. The men come up with some interesting ideas (one of the most interesting being to, "Paint him an electric blue"). Finally, however, they figure the best thing is to let him go. The final picture shows the now once again elated kitty bounding on the opposite shore, away from the river's banks.
The other day, I had someone ask (I'm a children's librarian) if I could recommend some rhyming picture books that were similar to the kinds of simple words used by Dr. Seuss. Now, no one beats the Seuss. He sort of invented the whole idea of simple words making fun books. And while I was able to find plenty of simple books, few rhymed all the way through. Should I ever receive this request again, I'm going to pluck "Tiger On a Tree" from my shelves immediately. The words in this book never get much longer than "rubbish" and are perfect for children just beginning to read. Words are presented in a black easy-to-distinguish font, large on each page (making them ideal for children with sight impediments as well). The illustrations are an entirely different matter altogether. Unfortunately, the publication page doesn't say how illustrator Pulak Biswas created the book's images. In some ways, they resemble woodcuts. In other ways, they look like broad black brushstrokes. The only color in the book is an occasional shock of orange. Whether the orange of the net to catch the tiger, the orange of the tiger's stripes, or the orange of the sun above, Biswas's palette is used sparingly and well.
If I had my way, library's bookshelves would be filled with picture books from as many countries as possible. For now, however, we will have to be content to read the occasional gem like "Tiger On a Tree" on our own and hope for more in the future.