During a visit to an art gallery Tom is mesmerised by a painting of a tiger which seems to be watching him. When he gets home he is inspired to draw his own picture of the tiger. That night he imagines or dreams the tiger stepping out of the picture and into his bedroom. The tiger invites Tom to go for a walk. Tom is reluctant, he is scared of the dark but the tiger reassures him and there follows a night time adventure in which Tom travels through jungles, underwater, to icy caves and above the world meeting a range of creatures on the way. All the while Tom is hesitant about these unfamiliar and scary situations but with the tiger’s encouragement confronts his fears and enjoys the experience. So much so that by the end of the book he feels as brave as – a tiger! Perhaps he actually IS a tiger!
Inspired by Henri Rousseau’s well known painting ‘Surprised’ or ‘Tiger in a Tropical Storm’ this is an appealing story about overcoming fears. The illustrations are richly coloured and stunning, conveying a sense of adventure and the strength and beauty of the tiger brilliantly. The language is beautiful with lovely imagery; ‘the forest drips with moonflowers’ and there is a pleasing pattern and repetition in the narrative. A perfect story for bedtime reading.