Young Tiggy is out on the prowl, exploring the jungle. He can leap and pounce and prowl, and he’s practicing hard on his growl. He visits lots of his animal friends, who show him the brave things they do as well. Tiggy thinks their antics are a little too scary, and each friend assures him there’s nothing to be afraid of, because Mom is always there for a quick rescue. Eventually Tiggy stumbles across Mr. Grumpy Thumpy Rhinoceros, but he won’t run away. Why? Because Mom will keep him safe!
OK, this is a fun book to read. I simply loved playing up the not-quite-grownup tiger growls. There’s lots of other fun animals, and the way Tiggy is drawn is just adorable. My kids enjoyed it, too. Good action, enough predictability, and of course they had to growl, too. This is a book they’ve asked for more than once.
I’m seriously torn about the advisability of the story line. It’s great to encourage a child to try something new, step out and be a little brave, knowing that a parent won’t let him get hurt. But I really, really don’t like the scene with Tiggy and Mr. Grumpy Thumpy Rhinoceros. All his friends are urging him to run away from the danger, and Tiggy just ignores them, knowing that his mom will deal with the threat. I can think of way too many instances where I *want* the kids to run away from danger.
I’m tagging this book “Preschoolers” because I think there’s a element of conversation needed after the story; discuss when it’s okay to try something scary and when it’s important to simply stay safe.
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Tiggy Tiger Brave Explorer by Claire Freeman, illustrated by Cecilia Johnson. Barron’s, 2002.