I Am A Tiger
Karl Newson and Ross Collins
Macmillan Children’s Books
Ignorance? Bravado? Or playfulness? What is driving Karl’s Mouse protagonist to insist that he’s a tiger. Fox, racoon, snake and parrot in turn, challenge the small creature to prove himself but his lack of size, stripes and tree climbing skills do nothing to convince the others of his claim and that growl is – let’s say somewhat feeble.
Suddenly along comes another animal proclaiming …
The ‘not-tiger’ then goes on to try and persuade the stripy character that HE is in fact a mouse with some deft moves.
These he follows with some further ridiculousness
before departing in search of lunch.
This sees our little grey friend heading towards a watery place wherein he spies his reflection and there he learns the error of his claims …
With it’s wonderful surprise finale, this is a grrralectable piece of comic theatre picture book style delivered through Karl’s droll mouse narrative and Ross Collins’ brilliantly expressive scenes.
Hilarious, and I look forward to the next of the promised Karl/Ross creations; they’ve certainly set the bar pretty high with this one. Young listeners will absolutely love it and it’s a gift for those who enjoy throwing themselves into story sharing.
The Happy Lion
Louise Fatio and Roger Duvoisin
This is a new edition of a classic story originally published in the 1950s and is set in a French town.
In that town is a zoo, the home of the Happy Lion. He leads a contented life there with daily visits from friends young and not so young, as well as being entertained by the town’s band on Sundays during the summer.
One day, the keeper forgets to close the door and the lion decides to go out and visit all those kind people who were his regular visitors.
Their reactions however are not at all what the Happy Lion expects; he’s barely acknowledged by the animals and the humans are terrified.
Bemused he stops, meditates, concludes, “this must be the way people behave when they are not in the zoo” and continues on his way hoping to find a friend.
He does so, after some drama involving a fire engine, firefighters and their very long hose; and all ends happily with the Happy Lion and his young friend walking back to the zoo together …
With alternate black and white, and three-colour, textured spreads, Duvoisin’s illustrations – wonderful, sketchy, smudgy scenes – still hold their magical charm – for this reviewer certainly – providing the perfect complement to Fatio’s tale.