Tigress

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by Cowcher, Helen. (Farrar, 1991 ISBN 0-374-47781-7) Picture Book. 32 pages. Grades 1+.
This book was reviewed by Carol Otis Hurst in Teaching K-8 Magazine.
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Review

A tigress and her cubs leave their sanctuary to find food. When they kill a bullock and then a camel, the herdspeople want to kill the tigress. The sanctuary ranger wants to save the tigers. A compromise is reached and, at least temporarily, all are satisfied. The author/illustrator manages to present many viewpoints in this simple book, the animals' fear of the tiger family, the distress of the herdsman who needed his cattle, and the tigress and her cubs. This is accomplished in the illustrations as well as in the text. Often we see glimpses of tiger in the lush vegetation of the forest. That forest contrasts visually with the scrubby trees and meager vegetation where the herdsman lives. Other times the magnificent beasts are shown more completely. This beautiful book gives us glimpses of the tiger in a most intriguing way.

The solution of driving the tigers back into the sanctuary is not offered as a happily ever after solution. The needs of beast and human are in conflict and the solution may well be temporary. We have no assurance that the tigers will stay in the sanctuary or that the sanctuary offers enough food for them. We also have no guarantee that the villagers will not encroach upon the tigers' territory next time. As in life, it's an uneasy compromise.

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Related Areas of Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site

  • See the Rivers article for more on environmental concerns.

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