September 26, 2013
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild
by Peter Brown
Little, Brown and Company
All of the animals lived terribly proper lives. They greeted each other around town, sipped their tea just so and tipped their hats.
All this proper-behavior was getting to Mr. Tiger. He wanted to get wild — just a little. But how? What to do?
Then Mr. Tiger had an idea and off he ran down the street on all fours. His friends were appalled. How could he act like such an animal?
“If you must act wild,” said a disgusted looking elephant lady, “go do it in the wilderness.” And so he did.
Eventually, Mr. Tiger returns to civilization but it is clear (through the illustrations) that he has changed. And he isn’t the only one.
This is an incredibly simple story and so much of it comes through Peter Brown’s illustration which is a combination of ink, watercolor, gouache and pencil. The animals are blocky and not particularly realistic but express a surprising array of emotion.
For a story that is as simple as it is, it also packs a thematic punch and could easily lead to discussions on following the crowd, being true to yourself and inspiring others.
While preschoolers will be drawn to the illustrations more than older children will the story itself will appeal to children of all ages who have felt compelled to be something less than themselves in an attempt to keep the staid and stuffy happy.