For May's #2016ClassicChallenge I plan to read The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. But best laid plans... Whether I will actually manage to r...

Tiger Tales

Thursday, May 12, 2016 BookBairn 4 Comments

For May's #2016ClassicChallenge I plan to read The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. But best laid plans... Whether I will actually manage to read it this month is another question as I have a large book for my book group to read alongside a pile of library books which are due back soon! I'll try! And if I don't I'll add it to next month's reading.

BookBairn, on the other hand, has been reading lots of tiger-y books!

'Goodnight Tiger' by Timothy Knapman and illustrated by Laura Hughes is a funny bedtime story with characters that truly come alive. Many children struggle to fall asleep, but few have the troubles that Emily experiences in this story. The animals in Emily's jungle wallpaper can't sleep and they are keeping Emily awake with all the stomping, bellowing, trumpeting and growling. Emily climbs into the wallpaper to sort them out, taking them through her bedtime routine: bath, hot chocolate, a bear to cuddle, lullaby and bedtime story. However, a bath in the jungle is not quite as we would expect; the jungle animals find their hot chocolate rather muddy-tasting; and the lullaby is incredible noisy can be heard across the jungle. The bedtime story, however, seems to do the trick.  But the tiger needs something more help to fall asleep!

What a lovely story for reinforcing bedtime routines with little ones. And I love that the bedtime story is the most effective and important part of the routine in this book. It's true for BookBairn too! BookBairn knows our bedtime routine so well that she sometimes gets grumpy when we take slightly too long to get all those poppers on her sleepsuit done, she's just desperate to get her milk and story. This story is beautifully illustrated and it is magical when Emily steps inside her wallpaper and the jungle comes to life! The characters are far from the fierce-some jungle animals they represent, with friendly eyes and smiles and soft colours, they are exactly the sort of creature BookBairn would like to have cuddled up in her cot. I would like, in particular, to point out that Emily wears pink bunny slippers throughout the story - what's not to like about this character?

For lots of parents to babies and toddlers, sleep and bedtime routines can be stressful, I'm just glad BookBairn doesn't have jungle wallpaper to contend with, otherwise it could have been a lot tougher!

In 'Squish Squash Squeeze' by Tracey Corderoy and illustrated by Jane Chapman, Mouse is delighted to move into his new house. What he doesn't know is that lurking around each corner is one unexpected roommate after another! A bear growling beside the piano, a crocodile snapping in the bathtub, and a tiger sliding down the banister, this house is bursting at the seams. How will Mouse fit them all in? By making the pages of the book bigger with a pop-up pull-out final page, of course!

A brilliantly funny new release from the author/illustrator team that wrote 'The Little White Owl', which was a favourite story of my class of primary two (aged 7-8 years old), this book is equally as appealing. Chapman captures the expressions of the animals perfectly, who look equally as surprised as you would to find a crocodile in your bath. I love that the characters are over-sized and out of proportion to the page, making them all seem as squashed into the page as they are to the house. BookBairn was delighted to pull-out the pop-up page and likes to re-read the final page over and over again. I think she would have just enough room to climb inside and join the Tiger, Bear and Crocodile, and she would if she could!

I think we might just squish, squash and squeeze this one into our bookshelf!

'Augustus and His Smile' by Catherine Rayner is a special 10th Anniversary edition that features a beautiful gold-foil slipcover which truly highlights the beauty of the story! I hadn't discovered this book before but I'm so glad that I have now. It is the tale of a tiger who has sadly lost his smile and he sets off to find it. He explores the jungle looking for it, from the forest floor to the tops of the tallest trees, her climbs mountains and looks amongst the clouds, he swims to the bottom of the deepest oceans, he crosses the vast desert, searching and searching everywhere until it begins to rain, creating puddles. Tiger looks down into the puddle and remembering the fun of his adventures, and the beauty in the world, he re-discovers his smile.

The beauty of the story is in it's use of language and beautiful layout, making it feel more like a poem than a story. It's illustrations are absolutely stunning and create a real feel of movement across the pages. Rayner truly captures the beauty of these environments in all their glory. The illustrations are deceptively simple, which perfectly portrays the message that we should appreciate the beauty of the world and the simple happiness it can bring us when we open our eyes to it. This book is a wonderful example of how art and stories can open us to discussions about emotions and how to cope with difficult emotions, such as sadness, to little readers.

The magic of this story is that it will appeal to adults equally as it appeals to children.

We have also been reading 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' by Judith Kerr, but I will review this for our next 'Story Book Classic' post! BookBairn keeps choosing it over and over at naptime at the moment so I had to mention it too!

There are only 3000 tigers left in the wild and I greatly hope that BookBairn will grow up appreciating these majestic and wild creatures and will not have to see them become extinct in her lifetime. I am delighted that Little Tiger Press has paired up with the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation's TigerTime. For every copy of the 10th Anniversary edition of 'Augustus and His Smile' sold, a donation is made to the foundation (for more information click here).  What can be better than a books that makes you feel good that also does good?

Do you have any favourite tiger tales to share? Please let us know in the comments below.

Happy reading, Mummy and BookBairn xx

*DISCLAIMER* I was given these books from the publisher for free for review purposes, however, all words and opinions are my own


  1. Pink bunny slippers will do it every time although I do like BookBairn's giraffe leggings. PS - I think there's a song called "Tail of the Tiger".