Stanley's (The Deliverance of Dancing Bears) solemn account of a tiger-sheltering Thai monastery uses a set of actual circumstances as the basis for a retelling that adds a spiritual dimension to the story. The book's afterword describes a real monastery northwest of Bangkok that raises orphaned tigers and plans to build a preserve for them, which will be protected by a moat. In Stanley's version, the tigers come to the monks through a kind of divine, animist inspiration. "Listen carefully, my friend," a disembodied voice says to one of the monks, "Our kingdom is in danger." The voice directs a young monk to two cubs hidden in the jungle. Later, the voice instructs the monks to build a moat to protect the tigers from poachers, and the construction goes more easily than the monks had anticipated. "The spirit of the jungle gods was with the monks," the narrator explains, "empowering them as they toiled." The story of the fight against the extinction of species is always worth telling, though a less heavy-handed approach might have allowed its truth and sacred significance to emerge on its own. The double-page, full-bleed pastels look right for a picture book for young readers, with skillfully drafted, jewel-colored spreads. A close-up of a dead tiger with a poacher's bullet hole through its head, though, seems to point to an older audience. Ages 4-8. (May)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
This beautifully illustrated and moving story tells about the tigers of Thailand.
In this fable that "draws inspiration from real life," the monks of a Thai temple at the edge of the jungle are saddened when local tigers are killed by poachers. One young monk hears a voice imploring him to take in a pair of abandoned cubs, and the monastery soon becomes a sanctuary for the animals. When the temple becomes overcrowded, the voice returns and tells the monks to dig a moat that turns the grounds into an island refuge. The "Tiger Temple" in Thailand is a real place where these animals are protected and cared for, and an endnote tells the true story of the monks' efforts to save the endangered animals. The solemn atmosphere and mysterious unidentified voices cloud the facts and turn the story into a fairy tale. While the lush illustrations help readers connect with the animals and their caregivers, the vague mysticism of the storytelling leaves readers feeling powerless despite the final statement that miracles are "within us all." Overall, the book succeeds in rousing readers' sympathy but not in channeling it.
Heidi EstrinCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- Enchanted Lion Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 11.50(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.50(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
Elizabeth Stanley grew up in the country town of Mildura, Australia. She was educated at the University of Melbourne, following which she worked as an English teacher and an educational psychologist for fifteen years. She devoted the next period of life to extensive travel in Europe, Asia, India and Nepal.
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