The Tiger Who Came For Dinner
Steve Smallman and Joëlle Dreidemy
In this fourth story to feature Wolf, Hotpot the lamb and their crocodile, Omelette, the friends are playing their favourite game of fetch when instead of a stick, Omelette brings back a tiny, soggy lost tiger. Hotpot is keen to keep the little thing but Wolf shakes his head “ … little tiger’s family must live further up the river. We have to take her home,” he says.
Next day off they go and on the way they encounter other animals, all of which think the little cub is a delight.
Omelette however, is not sure and becomes even less so as their journey continues; moreover he is able to recognise crocodile tears.
The following morning the group reaches a cottage – it’s the tiger cub’s home at last – and the little cub had a tricky plan tucked in his fur all the time. Can anybody save the day?
As with previous titles in the series, the importance of friendship is key. Steve and Joelle imbue the characters with warmth and oodles of personality and those already familiar with the other books will gobble up this one; however it matters little if you start here: this witty tale still works as a smashing read aloud.
The Littlest Elephant
Having just learned to swim, such is Ellie the littlest elephant’s enthusiasm that in her haste to demonstrate her new skill, she charges off to the pool to be first in the water. On the way though, she dislodges chameleon, frightens the frogs, disturbs the monkeys’ mangoes scattering them far and wide, upsets the minibeasts and the birds,
stamps on the tiger’s tail and almost squishes a little mouse. Only then does she stop and pay heed to their warning cries to slow down and watch where she’s going. Time for some apologies realises Ellie, and with them duly accepted, all the animals head off to the swim together, with the littlest pachyderm being mindful of the wise words her new friends have spoken, until they eventually reach the pool.
Now to make the biggest splash EVER!
Kate Read captures Ellie elephant’s excitement beautifully in her bold, bright mixed media illustrations while at the same time portraying the feelings of creatures she encounters on her charge through the jungle equally well. Her story reminds youngsters – indeed all of us – of the the need to slow down sometimes, to be mindful of others , and to show empathy, consideration and kindness towards them; important lessons delivered unobtrusively in a fun picturebook.