Monday, July 14, 2008

The Tiniest Tiger

I'm a collector of cat books as well as cat memorabilia of all kinds! So, needless to say, I was pleased to receive my copy of The Tiniest Tiger by Joanne L. McGonagle. I am delighted to add it to my library! This is a children's book; however, I must say it is so much more!

The storyline is sweet and will be a delight to share with young children! I suggest that you read it or help your child read it through the first time. Why? Well, there is a major emphasis on large cats all being endangered. As each new cat is introduced, statistics are provided regarding the normal size and litter and a small map is provide to show where each cat normally lives. This information will be very beneficial in teaching children about animal conservation; however, younger children will need some assistance in understanding the "sign" that appears on specific pages.

The tiniest tiger is a striped shorthair domestic kitten that has been playfully led astray by a butterfly. She thankfully winds up near a zoo and notices that there are large cats there. Surely she can find a place to live with them and so she first finds a tiger and asks if she can live with her.

At this point, I must admit that my personal attention was immediately drawn to the paintings of the cats. In addition to the beautiful cover, there are 15 two-page spreads in this book, 9 of which show wonderful detailed color portraits by Rachel Mahaffey of the 8 endangered cats. I studied the details in each painting, and found them excitingly specific to show the differences between the big cats. I believe your children will find many happy hours going through the pages as the little cat was sent around the zoo, trying to find a home. As I continued the story, I knew that the comparison to each of the cats was instinctual as well as part of the story. My own cats will seek, first, to build friendships with those of the same color and length of hair when they are old enough to be on their own. And then they work to become part of the overall larger group. It will be fun to read along with your child, to study the details of each of the big cats and see how they differ from each other as well as the little kitten.

Yes, of course, the tiniest tiger finds a home right there at the zoo. Which big cat do you think adopted her? You are in for a surprise if you choose the Bobcat!

Please note that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of The Tiniest Tiger will benefit conservation projects for endangered wild cats.

I admit it--I thoroughly enjoyed The Tiniest Tiger! If you are a "cat" person, are concerned about conservation of our wild life, or have a child or grandchild with whom you want to share the joy of reading and learning...then, by all means, this book is for you! Enjoy!