Lord of the Forest
Caroline Pitcher and Jackie Morris
‘Tiger was born fluffy and small, with his eyes tight shut.” So begins this gloriously lyrical fable about a tiger cub that doesn’t fully appreciate until he reaches maturity the meaning of his mother’s words, “The Lord of the Forest is …”.
Roaming the forest where all is new and exciting, or playing with his brothers, the little tiger’s focus is the sounds around: the sap rising in the trees, the slither of snakes, the Monkey’s whooping; he’s even aware of the curling of Chameleon’s tongue and little Gekko’s gulps, the flip of fish and Water-snake sliding down from the logs. His mother says, “When you don’t hear them, when silence burns and time stands still, then my son, be ready.” It’s then he’ll know the Lord of the Forest is present.
As he walks alone, grown considerably now, the tiger still listens and waits for the coming of the Lord of the Forest; but who is he?
He asks the other forest creatures about this Lord, and the beautiful peacock, the rhinoceros and the enormous elephant all arrogantly claim the title belongs to them. However, Tiger understands that screeching, bellowing, roaring beasts such as these, couldn’t possibly be the one that his mother has readied him to meet.
He continues searching but it’s not until he’s fully grown, with a mate and cubs of his own, that he discovers the identity of the beast he’s been seeking.
Elegance and humility reign both in Caroline Pitcher’s lyrical telling and Jackie Morris’s awesome art.
Jackie’s stunning watercolours immediately breath life into the creatures she portrays: the dignity and grace of the tiger in particular is palpable, while Caroline Pitcher’s poetic narrative truly transports us to the forest habitat with its magnificent sights and mellifluous sounds.
This enlarged edition of a book first published 18 years ago seems even more beautiful than the original. Sheer joy to read aloud, it’s one to add to family bookshelves and classroom collections.