The Last Tiger by Rebecca Elliott
|The Last Tiger by Rebecca Elliott|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: I wasn't entirely taken with the story, but the illustrations in this book are so lovely that they go a long way to make up for it.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: July 2012|
|Publisher: Lion Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Luka lives in a very grey world, with no trees or plants or animals. Everyone has forgotten what is important but then one day Luka finds the very last tiger. Will the tiger bring everyone hope for the future, or will he spend his life away locked up in a cage?
This is a story with a message. A good message, about taking care of nature and plants and animals and looking after our world. But I wasn't entirely sure that the message worked. We see, through most of the book, how grey and depressing the world has become, but there's no real explanation of why it is that way. And then we see the last tiger and discover that he has a secret garden that is beautiful and bright and full of wonderful flowers and animals. But I felt there was a lack of explanation about how and why the tiger had this garden and, to be honest, just what would happen to the poor tiger himself because if he really was the last one and there was no secret Mrs Tiger in that garden then his species was still doomed...
Perhaps I was looking for too much from the story, but I also noticed that my daughter was rather nonplussed by the whole thing too and it isn't one we've returned to re-read. It's a real shame because I really like Rebecca Elliott's illustrations which are soft and warm and full of emotion. I can see what sort of book she wanted to make, but perhaps a short picture book just doesn't allow for that kind of storyline.
Still, the friendship between Luka and the Tiger is sweet to behold, and the worry when the poor Tiger gets locked up in a zoo is very real. And Tiger's garden is rather lovely, even if I didn't believe it! Tiger himself is wonderfully big and fuzzy, and there's a terribly sweet mouse and squirrel later on in the story too. A lot of the book is quite dark though, since it's set in this grey, run-down world, so some children might not find it a very attractive book to read.
I think I'd prefer to borrow this one rather than buy, though if you're very enthusiastic about helping your little ones understand environmental concerns then perhaps it would be one you'd like to have for yourself on the shelf.
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