It's a Tiger!

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
It's a Tiger! Book Poster Image
Breathless tale of running from tiger is good, silly fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

No tiger facts, just good, imaginative scenarios of how to escape one. Shows where bats live: in a cave.

Positive Messages

In a gentle way, acknowledges kids' (and other humans') fears, as in the bat cave scene: "I don't know about you, but those shadows are making me nervous."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The boy narrrator gets scared but is pretty fearless in his ability to outrun and outsmart the tiger. And he's a good problem-solver who figures out what's really going on with the tiger: "He doesn't want to eat us. He's just yawning. If we scratch his ears and belly, maybe he'll go to sleep." Kids, don't try this at home. 

Violence & Scariness

Lots of fear of violence and some bared teeth, but no actual violence.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that It's a Tiger! is a fun, exciting picture book about a little boy trying to escape a tiger that he keeps running into. The boy narrator is scared, but readers won't be; they'll be swept up in the action when he beathlessly shouts out instructions as if they're on the run with him, telling readers when to duck, run, jump, or hide: "Yikes! He's gaining on us! Our only chance is to leap for that rope ... and swing across this canyon. Now LET GO!"  

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What's the story?

A little boy is on the run from a tiger, but no matter how often he gets away, the beast keeps turning up again. The boy will feel a moment's relief, only to discover that the giant orange-and-black pillow he's landed on is ... \"A TIGER! Now we're REALLY in trouble!\" Every time he feels safe, the tiger shows up -- even as the captain of the boat he jumps on, even inside the treasure chest he finds on a desert island. A gentle twist at the end has the boy befriending the tiger and the two of them being scared of a crocodile.

Is it any good?

This silly, faux-scary adventure is perfect for read-aloud -- or maybe shout-aloud, as each time the tiger turns up, the type shifts to all-capitals, bold with an exclamation point. Jermy Tankard's bold illustrations, with both tiger and boy outlined in broad black strokes, capture the thrill of hide-and-seek, peek-a-boo, and tag on these colorful pages. And David LaRochelle's inviting text sweeps readers up in the action, with instructions like, "Hurry! Climb that ladder and we'll make our escape." 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it would be like to be chased by a real wild animal. What can you do if you feel scared of an animal you meet?

  • How does this compare with other stories about wild animals? Do you think it's more scary or silly? 

  • Do you like it when the narrator in a book talks right to you, as if you're having the same experience he or she is?  

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and animal stories

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