Friday, March 28, 2014

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

Brown, Peter. 2013. MR. TIGER GOES WILD. New York: Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316200639 [Suggested Grade Levels K- 2]

Mr. Tiger lives in a very proper world. “Everyone was perfectly fine with the way things were. Everyone but Mr. Tiger.”  He wants to loosen up, to have some fun, to be wild.  His wild acts are too much for the city and eventually lead him to the wilderness where he can explore his wild side. He loves being himself, but is lonely. Upon return to the city, he finds that others are exploring their wild sides too. “Now Mr. Tiger felt free to be himself.  And so did everyone else.”

Peter Brown has created another unique, hilarious story. Sepia and gray tones paired with strong horizontal lines are used skillfully to portray the proper, upright life of the city; Mr. Tiger’s bold orange strikes an immediate contrast. Double page spreads halt the action perfectly when Mr. Tiger descends to four feet and when he shockingly sheds his proper clothing. The vibrant colors and irregular shapes used to create the wilderness juxtapose expertly to the gray city. Brown’s simple strokes, facial expressions, and word choice communicate feelings and reactions impeccably. The delightful tale celebrates being oneself even if that means sometimes celebrating one’s wild side.

Mr. Tiger’s simple lines beg to be imitated by young artists. Allow children to draw him in both settings. Many important messages are woven in this simple book. Discuss these messages with readers such as the importance of being oneself and when it is acceptable to go a little wild.

Other books that recognize the wild side in all of us:
Sendak, Maurice. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. ISBN 9780060254926
Willems, Mo. NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED. ISBN 9781423114376

By Jill Bellomy

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