Tiger of the Snows: Tenzing Norgay: The Boy Whose Dream Was Everest

Tiger of the Snows: Tenzing Norgay: The Boy Whose Dream Was Everest

by Robert Burleigh
     
 

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Growing up at the foot of Mount Everest, a Sherpa boy named Tenzing Norgay dreamed about one day being the first to climb the giant in his backyard. For years he practiced, carrying loads of rocks in his backpack to grow stronger, prowling the mountain's lower levels; later, carrying loads of equipment for other adventurers, but always, always, wanting to climb

Overview

Growing up at the foot of Mount Everest, a Sherpa boy named Tenzing Norgay dreamed about one day being the first to climb the giant in his backyard. For years he practiced, carrying loads of rocks in his backpack to grow stronger, prowling the mountain's lower levels; later, carrying loads of equipment for other adventurers, but always, always, wanting to climb himself.

But his dream never seemed possible until he met Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand beekeeper who shared Tenzing's dream. By working together every step of the way, two men from entirely different backgrounds climbed into the clouds, to the peak of Mount Everest. However, as the years passed, only Hilary's name lived on in the history books while, in the west, Norgay's was mostly forgotten.

In Tiger of the Snows, Robert Burleigh introduces young readers to one of the Far East's greatest heroes and tells the long-neglected story of a litle boy with an unimaginable dream, who refused to be daunted by the world's most daunting mountain, and who came to be known as the tiger of the snows. Caldecott winner Ed Young brings Everest to life with hauntingly, subtly beautiful animal imageries and resplendent colors, capturing the breathtaking grandeur and life force of the mountain the Nepalese call Mother Goddess of the Earth.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This extraordinary book tells a long-neglected story about a Himalayan sherpa who fulfills his childhood dreams of climbing to "the top of the world." Although Sir Edmund Hillary is given credit for being the first man to climb Mount Everest on May 20, 1953, he was actually led to the summit by Tenzing Norgay, whose life story is effectively told in this formal poem. Young's (Beyond the Great Mountains) cinematic illustrations are nearly as awe-inspiring as the mountain itself, and Burleigh's (Black Whiteness) evocative poetry is both challenging and lyrical. As a boy, Tenzing is "hungry for the taste of clouds," and dreams of climbing the five-mile high mountain, the "sharpest tooth in the jaw of the great dragon,/ Mountain so tall no bird can fly over it." In Young's breathtaking illustrations, the mountains become characters in the book; his pastels take on the texture of colorful shadows, "wind-sculpted snow" and a landscape of clouds. He drapes the white, snow-capped mountains in robes of indigo, cobalt and cerulean, and the swirling snow seems to move on the page. Were it not for the explanation of Norgay's story in the afterword and on the book's jacket, young readers might have difficulty puzzling out the tale's complicated syntax, but Young's illustrations provide a strong context for Burleigh's "Song for Tenzing,/ Tenzing Norgay,/ Sherpa,/ Mountain man,/ Tiger of the snows." Together, text and illustrations create a unified work of art as dazzling as sunlit snow. Ages 7-10. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
In brief lines of poetic prose, Burleigh sings "A song for Tenzing," evoking the spirit of the youth who grew up hearing the voice of Everest, "Mother Goddess of the Earth." Hungry for the taste of clouds, Tenzing studied and practiced, preparing for his historic climb. On May 29, 1953, we climb, breathless, with him and Edmond Hillary "Into the Zone of Death," through the pain and struggle to the top. Although he must descend, Tenzing feels "joined forever to the sky...Mountain...I am with you always." Young's pastels fill the double-page scenes with spiritual profundity. Textured white shapes seem to float in a warm lavender sky as they hover over dark blue sweeping hints of earth. Brighter skies pinpoint the tiny climbers as they confront cascades of blue-white waves piling up to reach the distant peaks. Black-clothed figures bend into the steep climb, making us feel the weight of the bulging backpacks. Each scene contributes to the reality of the ambitious task while impressing us with the beauty of this climbers' world. An "Afterword" fills in additional factual information.
Kirkus Reviews
A gorgeously illustrated praise-song illuminates the yearnings and achievement of Tenzing Norgay, recently recovered from history as the Nepalese Sherpa who, along with Sir Edmund Hillary, conquered Mount Everest in 1953. Burleigh's present-tense free-verse poem strings epithets together in Homeric fashion: "Tenzing Norgay, / Sherpa, / Mountain man, / Tiger of the snows . . . " The effect is intense, the epithets giving way to clipped phrases that kaleidoscopically evoke the effort of climbing. The white-on-black text appears in appropriately vertical panels that frame Young's spectacular pastels, his fuzzy lines alternately mimicking blowing snow or the parka-clad forms of the climbers themselves. The book's landscape orientation gives breadth to the paintings, allowing a long-shot view of Everest, its bulk dwarfing the tiny smudged dots of a line of climbers in the foreground. A pre-dawn image of the last morning of the ascent places readers in a close-up behind Tenzing's goggles, looking into Hillary's uncannily lit face. The favor is returned at the top of the world, as Tenzing's smiling face gazes into Hillary's camera, the Himalayas spreading out in the background. A striking, inspiring tribute. (afterword) (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442421929
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
11/22/2010
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
1,281,124
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Robert Burleigh is the award-winning author of many books for children, including The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn, illustrated by Barry Blitt; Night Flight, illustrated by Wendell Minor; and Black Whiteness, illustrated by Walter Lyon Krudop. His many other books include Hoops; Stealing Home; and Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep! He lives in Michigan.

Ed Young is the illustrator of more than eighty books for children, seventeen of which he has also written. Most notably, he is the Caldecott Medalist for Lon Po Po and the Caldecott Honor recipient for both The Emperor and the Kite and Seven Blind Mice. Young lives in Westchester County, New York.

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