A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday Vera Cleaver (Where the Lilies Bloom) and Wendelin Van Draanen (Flipped).
- Itâ€™s the birth date of Carl Sandburg (1878â€“1967), Rootabaga Stories.
- Happy birthday to the fictional character Sherlock Holmes. Read The Extraordinary Cases of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.
- Best birthday wishes to New Mexico, which became the 47th U.S. state in 1912.
- In 1929 Mother Teresa arrived in Calcutta to begin her work among Indiaâ€™s poorest people. Read Mother Theresa by Tracey Dils.
- Itâ€™s Cuddle Up Day. Read I Love to Cuddle by Carl Norac, illustrated by Claude K. Dubois, and Daddy Cuddles by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben.
Today we celebrate a little-recognized holiday, â€śThank Goodness Itâ€™s Monday,â€ť and an event that lasts for all of January, The Celebration of Life. These two seemingly incongruous observances remind me of one of my favorite picture books of 2013, Peter Brownâ€™s Mr. Tiger Goes Wild.
Now, for want of a better term, I am a â€śwhole bookâ€ť critic, believing that in our greatest works for children all the elements work out brilliantly: Art, text, design, and production need to come together to create an entire package. The best example I have of a recent â€śwhole bookâ€ť is Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, aÂ delicious title that explores the beauty, even the necessity, of being unconventional.
Everyone in Mr. Tigerâ€™s world enjoys things the way they areâ€”except our wayward hero. He is bored with acting proper all the time. One day, Mr. Tiger abandons his previously humanlike behavior and starts walking on all fours, roaring and leaping over buildings. Finally, he throws off all his civilized clothes and heads to the wilderness. But after experiencing some freedom and realizing that he misses his friends, Mr. Tiger returnsâ€”only to discover that the formerly buttoned-up town has loosened its rules in his absence. Now in his own environment, he can be himself.
In this book, art and text work seamlessly together to advance the story; its design and production have been given loving attention. On very heavy (140 grams per square meter) paper, the five-color art uses orange to great advantageâ€”often making it a focal point of each double-page spread. The printed cover boasts orange tiger stripes, while the endpapers feature brick walls on the front and an exotic garden on the back. All these touches augment the story inside. An abundance of white space, with clear, clean shapes and perfect pacing incorporate Peter Brownâ€™s modern sensibility into a classic picture-book format.
Just like Munro Leaf and Robert Lawsonâ€™s The Story of Ferdinand, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild celebrates the idea that creatures must be true to themselves. And, of course, it recognizes that within each child an untamed wild thing often lurks. Popular with young readers and adult aficionados of childrenâ€™s books, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild contains a story that can be read again and againâ€”with illustrations that deserve repeated examination. So since I myself, contrary to most, love Monday mornings, I say to you, â€śThank goodness for Monday and for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild.â€ť
Here’s a page from Mr. Tiger Goes Wild:
Originally posted January 6, 2014. Updated for .