Valentine runs a guest house, and her daughter Elsie likes to help out, making sure guests have all they need. One day Elsie discovers a tiger, hiding in a store cupboard, in need of somewhere to stay. The tiger quickly settles into life at the guest house, but unsurprisingly, the other human guests are less impressed, and they all promptly leave. Valentine is very worried that no one will want to stay in her guest house again but when Emmet messages his friends, soon lots of prospective (four legged!) guests arrive. There is a strong message of inclusion as Valentine and Elsie find ingenious ways to accommodate their varying needs – from the tortoise who wants a room with a view but can’t get up the stairs to the elephant who can’t fit through the doorway.
The richly coloured illustrations are soft, warm and very appealing. The image of the tiger asleep in Elsie’s bedroom is a particular delight. There are lots of details to spot such as how the tiger helps Elsie and her mum. Don’t miss the end papers with a glimpse inside the guest house pre and post its change of occupancy from human to animal guests.
With echoes of How to Hide a Lion (Helen Stephens) and Everybody’s Welcome (Patricia Hegarty and Greg Abbott) this is a delightful picturebook.