cover image Tiger Can't Sleep

Tiger Can't Sleep

S. J. Fore, , illus. by R.W. Alley. . Viking, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-06078-8

Many a parent will recognize the bedtime procrastinating of the amiable, anthropomorphized stuffed tiger in Fore's debut picture book. From potato chip-crunching and cartwheel-turning to one-tiger band music-making, the oversize toy—who is supposed to be sleeping in a boy's closet—employs several amusing stall tactics. Young readers, who'll likely see a bit of themselves in Tiger, will enjoy watching the boy hero in the parental role as he narrates in escalating, exasperated tones. "Shhh, Tiger! Quiet! You are driving me crazy! I'm trying to sleep. I don't want to hear any more noise." Alley's humorous cartoons vividly bring the exchanges to life. Tiger's bright orange fur and the boy's green pajamas stand out against the blue-gray nighttime backdrop. Tiger wears an appropriately contrite expression as he repeatedly says, "Oops! Tiger is sorry. Tiger will be quiet now." The facial expressions of both characters could just about tell the story by themselves when combined with the onomatopoeic words in large, colorful typeface emanating from the closet (e.g., "Crunch! " "Ker-thump! "). When the boy hears a "Boo-hoo " and discovers Tiger's fear of the dark, he takes a softer approach to his frightened friend. Readers of all ages will delight in the role changes and comic situations that make this book so appealing, not to mention its subtle lesson of empathy. Ages 2-up. (Jan.)