THE TIGER OF TURKESTAN

Nonny Hogrogian, As Told by . Hampton Roads $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-57174-308-4

"Do something nobody else does!" are the dying words of Little Tiger's grandmamma. Little Tiger is a particularly reflective feline—in Hogrogian's (Always Room for One More; One Fine Day) most striking picture, his orange eyes peer out with poignant intensity from a scrim of emerald leaves. But at first, Little Tiger can only interpret her advice in terms of playful behavior: "If the other tigers ran forward, Little Tiger was sure to run backward. When the tigers raced to the watering hole, Little Tiger hopped all the way." As Little Tiger matures into a more imposing figure and travels the world, his understanding and sense of self deepens. "One day when Tiger's heart was full, he began to dance." Thus he discovers his calling: to be a teacher of dance to other animals, "one who helped others to find joy in being themselves." The soft-spoken earnestness of the text (the book is dedicated to the mystic G.I. Gurdjieff) may make this title more suitable to adults, and the renderings of the protagonist vary in their success—at times, there's an awkward bulkiness to his physique. Still, the strength in Tiger's eyes is unmistakable, and Hogrogian's watercolors demonstrate a lovely quietude and restraint reminiscent of traditional Asian painting. Contemplatively inclined children may well appreciate Tiger's mission. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/26/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Genre: Children's
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