Young Nora is at her Gran’s and feeling bored. Taking advantage of her knowledge, that like most small children, Nora has a fertile imagination and that her garden is rich in potential for flights of fancy, Gran suggests she go and play outside. ‘I thought I saw a tiger there earlier’ she tells her.
An incredulous Nora (accompanied by equally bored toy giraffe, Jeffrey) decides to investigate – egged on by Gran’s further mention of bird-sized dragonflies, human-eating plants and a grumpy polar bear. Determined to find her new environment just as boring, Nora is surprised by something whooshing past her at eye level. It’s an outsized dragonfly and it leads her to a cluster of colourful, equally large dragonflies. Yes, the young girl is somewhat impressed but still not ready to accept the notion of plants, as human carnivores let alone polar bears or tigers; she urges Jeff to return home with her. Jeff however has been ambushed – literally. With rescued duly completed, Nora urges again, ‘Come on Jeff, let’s go home’. Emerging from the undergrowth, she hears a gruff, grizzly ‘Hello’, and finds herself confronted by a cross-looking polar bear fishing from an ice-flow, cross on account of knowing that the tiger, not he is the object of any search.
Off Nora goes again hotly denying the possibility of tigers being in gardens, even ones wherein bird-sized dragonflies, human-eating plants and polar bears reside, when she finds herself nose to nose with the very kind of orange and black stripy beast she will not accept being in a garden. There follows a wonderful exchange between child and big cat on the hot topic of reality, followed by a deal being struck, a ride back towards Gran’s house, a burgeoning friendship and a fond (for now) farewell.
When Nora and Jeff sit down for dinner, the child has two things to tell her Grandma; one concerns the tiger that IS in the garden, the other is about something entirely different…
Following in the footsteps of Judith Kerr’s classic The Tiger Who Came to Tea, this vibrantly illustrated tall tiger tale is richly imagined and deftly executed by debut picture book creator, Lizzie Stewart.