Skip to main content

It's a Tiger! by David La Rochelle, illustrated by Jeremy Tankard

It's a Tiger! is the new book from the fantastic David LaRochelle. I am remiss that this is my first full review of one of his books, but I did feature two of his books in my Best Picture Books of 2008 post. Happily, It's a Tiger! is a fantastic book and an instant story time staple for me at the bookstore and also great place to begin to introduce you to the books of David LaRochelle. Jeremy Tankard's illustrations are perfectly matched to LaRochelle's story and will have little listeners following closely.

It's a Tiger! begins, "Are you ready for a story? Me too. We'll start in the jungle where the tall trees grow and the monkeys swing from vine to vine. Wait a minute. That's not a monkey. That looks like..."

"A TIGER! Run!" Bulging eyes (for the monkeys and the main characters), a vivid red background and the need for speed burst from the two page spread. A quick visit back to the first page of the story reveals a stripy tail amongst the monkeys and vines that sharp eyes will have noticed. Even if they don't, by the next spread they will figure out what's going on. Tankard's illustrations are bright, simple and a little bit primitive, which adds to the excitement. La Rochelle's narrative has a "Going on a Bear Hunt" feel to it, which keeps listeners on the edge of their seats, but the text is smoother and doesn't have the sing-songy promise of a rhyme that never comes like "Bear Hunt" does. 

This formula is repeated over and over as the main character (I'm pretty sure it's a boy, but I think you could convince listeners it's a girl if you really wanted to, which I do sometimes) continues to try to run away from the tiger. Through a cave, a snake pit, a bed of flowers and onto a boat.  Finally, a treasure chest on a desert island is not filled with jewels and gold but a roaring tiger. Or is the tiger roaring? Maybe he was only yawning. Maybe he needs a story to help him sleep. Like all the best books, It's a Tiger! circles around to where it began while also shaking things up. In an effort to lull the tiger to sleep, the narrator says, "We'll start in the jungle where the tall trees grow and the monkeys swing from vine to vine. Wait a minute. That's not a monkey. That looks like..."

 It's a Tiger! is a deceptively simple book, the kind that kids want to hear over and over again and adults never get tired or reading.

More great books from David LaRochelle...


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…