Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Year of the Tiger!

This year Chinese New Year falls on February 14th, so to spread the love around a little I will wish everyone a fantastic Year of the Tiger! According to theholidayspot:

This is definitely an explosive year. It usually begins with a bang and ends with a whimper. A year earmarked for war, disagreement and disasters of all kinds. But it will also be a big, bold year. Nothing will be done on a small, timid scale. Everything, good and bad, can and will be carried to extremes. Fortunes can be made and lost. If you take a chance, gamble for high stakes, but understand that the odds are stacked against you. ... The fiery heat of the Tiger's year will no doubt touch everyone's life. In spite of its negative aspects, we must realize that it could have a cleansing effect. Just as intense heat is necessary to extract precious metals from their ores, so the Tiger year can bring out the best in us.
Hmm, interesting. But of more immediate interest to me, I will continue on with my tradition of creating a book list to suit the animal of the year. Here are a few great books featuring Tigers:

Tiger is a kitten who likes to pretend he is a REAL tiger...and after spending the day running, roaring and NOT playing with wool, he is ready for bed. A sweet story about imagination, with extraordinarily appealing illustrations. (the follow-up, Tiger in the Snow, is a wonderful read-aloud as well)

This cute retro picture book is the story of Sophie and her mummy, who are just sitting down to tea when a large hungry tiger knocks at the door. They invite him in and he eats not only all the tea but everything in the house. Just as the tiger takes his leave, Sophie's Daddy comes home from work. His response to their story is that they should all go out to a café for supper. The illustrations are delightful (especially the tiger pouring the tea straight from the Brown Betty into his mouth) and some of the outdated references are so amusing to come across in a picture book - like the tiger drinking "all of daddy's beer".

Dicamillo, better known for her Tale of Desperaux or Because of Winn-Dixie, penned a tale of loss and renewal in her second novel. I don't think I can describe it better than its summary on her website:
Walking through the misty Florida woods one morning, twelve-year-old Rob Horton is stunned to encounter a tiger — a real-life, very large tiger — pacing back and forth in a cage. What’s more, on the same extraordinary day, he meets Sistine Bailey, a girl who shows her feelings as readily as Rob hides his. As they learn to trust each other, and ultimately, to be friends, Rob and Sistine prove that some things — like memories, and heartaches, and tigers — can’t be locked up forever.

4. Tiger, Tiger / Lynn Reid Banks

A teen novel set in Ancient Rome, this is a tale of twin tigers, Boots and Brute. They are brought from their jungle home to Rome where the weaker tiger cub becomes a pampered pet of Caesar's daughter Aurelia and the stronger one ends up as a feature at the Coliseum. Danger, a whiff of romance, the right and wrong of violent entertainment...all weave together to provide a riveting read.

Richard Parker the ravenous tiger is a castaway on the ocean with Pi Patel and a few other animals in this well known novel by Canadian author Yann Martel (also well known for his habit of sending books to our unappreciative Prime Minister)


  1. happy New Year and Happy Valentine's Day! I like that you have a list of tiger books to celebrate with. Have you read Life of Pi yet? I know there are many who don't like it, but I quite enjoyed it.

  2. Stefanie - I like putting together book lists, and the Chinese Zodiac works really well for this purpose! Yes, I read Life of Pi yrs ago now - I like Yann Martel, but this isn't my favourite of his work. I am looking forward to his new novel coming out this spring as well.


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