Quality nonfiction texts appropriate for grade one are needed, and this book meets that need. It is one in the "Baby Animal" series and serves as a photo essay of Tara, a Bengal tiger cub. In the first year of life, text and photos portray Tara's care in a wild animal park. The text is simple and, thankfully, no anthropomorphism is evident. Tara feeds, bathes and plays with trainers. She joins the grown-up tigers at nine months. Excellent photos tell the story; photo captions are the book's text. Although there is no table of contents, there are three chapters, in keeping with an early chapter book. An afterword offers "More about Tigers," "More about Wild Animal Parks" and a timeline of the events in Tara's life from birth to one year. Although the tiger cub is pictured as adorable and is hugged by and romps with humans, the back matter states that tigers are wild animals and should never be kept as pets. The paw prints featured on all pages throughout the book lend a nice touch. 2002, Carolrhoda Books, $21.27 and $6.95. Ages 5 to 7. Reviewer: Jacki Vawter
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-The Hewetts return with a book about a Bengal tiger cub growing up in captivity. Clear, full-color photos and very simple text suitable for beginning readers show Tara as a blind newborn in the nursery of the wild-animal park where she lives, going home with Mary so that she can get late-night feedings, at three months going outdoors, and at nine months joining adult tigers. Two sections of more difficult text, "More about Tigers" and "More about Wild Animal Parks," wrap up the book. A time line of Tara's first year shows her developmental stages. The book will interest children who enjoy reading about animals, need facts about this endangered species, or love to look at photos of adorable animals.-Sally Bates Goodroe, formerly at Harris County Public Library, Houston, TX Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Some little tiger cubs grow up with their mothers, but this one born in Six Flags Marine World, a wild animal park in California, is raised entirely by human keepers. Lots of pictures show the infant tiger drinking from a bottle, taking a first bath, smooching and cuddling with her human keepers, walking on a leash, and joining the adult tigers in the exhibit. Easy-reading text offers somewhat stilted explanations of what the color photos show. "It is time for a checkup. The bright lights are scary. The tiger cub roars." The author notes, "Tigers can be trained to do what people want them to do. But tigers cannot be tamed." In an afterword, she states: "Many zoos and wild animal parks breed captive Bengal tigers. One day, some of these tigers may be returned to the wild." Animal theme parks use this line to justify breeding and keeping endangered animals as exhibits, but conservationists may be saddened by this effort to turn wild animals into cute displays. (Nonfiction. 4-6)