With Chinese New Year on Tuesday, we have entered the Year of the Tiger. The children have produced some fabulous writing and artwork based on these fearsome creatures, some of which is on display at Cannon Park Shops – do make sure you go and have a look!
My books this week feature tigers, and other animals.
First, I have The Tyger Voyage by Richard Adams (Watership Down) and Nicola Bayley. A gentleman tyger and his son set sail from Victorian England into the timeless unknown. Together they roam across the seas, through jungles, past ice-covered mountains and erupting volcanoes and many more unexpected hazards along the way.
Told in verse using language to capture the era the story is set in, which is also evoked in Nicola Bayley’s stunning illustrations, this is as captivating today as it was when it was first read to me as a child.
Next, I have Interview With A Tiger by Andy Seed, illustrated by Nick East. Get familiar with 10 fierce and furry beasts as they step up to the mic and share their habits, behaviour, likes and dislikes, favourite foods, and more. Each animal has its own story to tell… and its own attitude…
Having made a tranimalator, Andy Seed has scoured the planet to conduct some amazing interviews with ten spectacular, clawed creatures, including a tiger, wolf, and my personal favourite, a snow leopard.
Each interview is packed with fascinating facts about the animals and their habitats, with each creature’s personality shining through. It has to be said, their views on humans don’t show us in a particularly good light.
Nick East’s fabulous illustrations pair perfectly with Andy Seed’s trademark wit and warmth to create a perfect pleasure browser that can be dipped in and out of, but once I started, I found I wanted to meet all of the animals at once.
Finally, I have chosen Carnival Of The Animals by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Michael Foreman. Morpurgo’s poems are inspired by The Carnival of the Animals – a humorous musical by the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. Building on this classic framework, Michael has added many more animals – they speak in their own voices, full of humour and vivacity, to tell of their lives and the impact of humanity on their habitats.
With full colour illustrations throughout, this celebrated partnership has created a gift book with a strong ecological message that will also ignite a love of poetry in young readers and will appeal to fans of The Lost Words. Above all it is a celebration of the natural world in verse, a book to treasure and to inspire.