TIGRESS

Nick Dowson, Author, Jane Chapman, Illustrator
Nick Dowson, Author, Jane Chapman, Illustrator , illus. by Jane Chapman. Candlewick $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-2325-8
Reviewed on: 07/05/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004
Paperback - 27 pages - 978-0-7636-3314-1
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-7636-3872-6
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-7636-4189-4
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-4063-4361-8
Hardcover - 27 pages - 978-0-7445-8619-0
Hardcover - 27 pages - 978-1-84428-742-0
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Dowson's supple, informative debut book spotlights a tigress, first viewed stalking through tall grass in search of a new den for her two cubs: "Her fiery, stripy coat seems to vanish like magic." As the cubs grow, they "fight" each other (with sheathed claws) and learn to hunt from their parent. At around 18 months, the young leave to find their own territories. Dowson supplements a poetic narrative ("Bigger than your fist, her pink nose sniffs the air. Her ears turn to listen for the smallest noise. Bright as torches, her large yellow eyes gleam all around") with straightforward facts about tigers, presented in a smaller, italicized font ("Tigers don't have a great sense of smell, but their eyesight is six times better than ours, and they have amazing hearing"). Together, the two textual strains provide a wealth of information about tigers' physical characteristics, behavior and hunting habits. A final note cites disturbing facts, including that fewer than 6,000 tigers are alive today. Eschewing the anthropomorphic style of her Bear Snores On and other works, Chapman delivers lifelike, closely focused renderings of the three tigers, often in convincing motion. On many pages, the text appears against subtly patterned backdrops that complement the artwork; occasional vignettes of the cubs prowling across these backdrops add a note of drama. Ages 5-8. (June)

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