Esteemed author Eve Bunting brings all her insight, empathy, and storytelling skill to this powerful allegorical tale, set in the streets of an unnamed city and illustrated with striking woodcuts. Danny, new to town, is proud when a glittery-eyed tiger invites him for a ride. He climbs up onto the tiger’s massive back, and together they cruise the neighborhood. Everyone gives them respect—shopkeepers and passersby, even other kids. Danny feels powerful and much older than ten. Soon, though, he realizes it isn’t respect people feel for him and the tiger—it’s fear. And when he decides to get down off the tiger’s back, he discovers it’s a lot harder than climbing on.
Whether the tiger is interpreted to represent gangs, drugs, or something else altogether, this poetically told, dramatically illustrated book is sure to provoke discussions about temp-tation, peer pressure, and conformity.
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Eve Bunting has written over two hundred books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz, The Wall, Fly Away Home, and Train to Somewhere. She lives in Southern California.From School Library Journal:
Gr 2-4-Ten-year-old Danny is new in town, so when an imposing tiger offers him a ride, he's flattered and intrigued. However, as they swagger together through the city, Danny notices that the beast is eliciting fear-not respect-from shopkeepers, school kids, and neighbors. When a young man invites him to join a basketball game and Danny vacillates, the tiger turns threatening and seems to grow larger. Finally, it terrifies a homeless man into injuring himself, and Danny must decide whether to surrender his powerful perch and help, or remain on the now-frightening beast. His courageous and painful fall to the pavement and ultimate concern for the stranger break the tiger's hold. Danny denies his association with the big cat and it disappears. The woodcut illustrations and dark palette capture the grittiness of the setting; the angular and fierce animal is drawn with thick strong lines while people, with curving profiles and trusting eyes, project hope as well as fear. Bunting's thinly veiled allegory will be obvious to most school-aged readers and especially pertinent to those struggling with gang membership. The first-person telling allows for doubt and introspection; Danny is exhilarated by his alliance with the beast, then struggles with doubt and self-deprecation when its ruthlessness is revealed. The powerful imagery ("He smelled of something dark and exciting") contrasts with an occasional dated expression ("The concrete hit me like a pile driver") but pacing is as relentless as a stalking cat and the message is as purposeful. A provocative look at a timely topic.-Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Clarion Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0395797314 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0140703
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