Mr. Tiger Goes Wild
by Peter Brown; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary Little, Brown 48 pp.
9/13 978-0-316-20063-9 $18.00
Mr. Tiger walks upright and wears a top hat and a handsome coat with a bow tie, fitting in with the rest of society. But his orange fur provides the only spot of color in the very drab, very proper community, and Mr. Tiger is bored: “He wanted to loosen up. He wanted to be…wild.” And so, Mr. Tiger drops to all fours and for the first time looks happy. As he gets progressively wilder, roaring and shedding his confining clothes, the town animal-folk are appalled and banish him to the wilderness — which, he decides, is “a magnificent idea.” This is a book made for storytime, with its bold mixed-media illustrations that work almost like a storyboard moving left to right, and a plot with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Children, who get tired of grownups and their requests for proper behavior, will relate to the proud joy Mr. Tiger clearly feels when he is free to be wild, and also to his eventual feelings of loneliness. The happy ending, almost a reverse of Where the Wild Things Are, includes everyone discovering the fun of being at least a little bit wild.