cover image The Dancing Tiger

The Dancing Tiger

Malachy Doyle, Doyle Malachy. Viking Children's Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-06020-7

A full moon gleams in the dusky sky as a girl, peering from a thatched cottage\x92s upstairs window onto a wide, sloping hill, spies a tiger dancing on his hind legs in the dark woods. \x93There\x92s a quiet, gentle tiger/ In the woods below the hill,/ And he dances on his tiptoes,/ When the world is dreaming still.\x94 In gentle, lyrical verse, the girl tells of the night she first discovered the animal, and how they overcame their fear of each other. She promises to keep the tiger\x92s secret and, in exchange, he invites her to dance with him whenever the moon is full. Once a month, since then, \x93We\x92ve skipped in spring through bluebells,/ In summer circled slow,/ We\x92ve high-kicked in the autumn leaves,/ And waltzed in winter snow.\x94 Each line inspires a full-bleed spread of their dances through the seasons: the girl follows the tiger\x92s lead through a violet meadow, and makes tracks through a sea of lavender blue snow. In the final spreads, the narrator reveals herself to be an old woman, sharing her story with her golden-haired great-grandchild, whom she entrusts to take her place: \x93Let me give you Tiger\x92s hand.\x94 An exhilarating fantasy, beautifully rendered in art and verse, this story may well make readers young and old long to join in this magical moonlight dance. Ages 3-up. (May)