Tyger! Tyger!

Overview

A little way into the darkness of the jungle, the young monk heard a stirring and held a light into the darkness. As foretold, two tiny cubs scrambled out from their hiding place and climbed into his arms. ~ From Tyger! Tyger! --- This beautifully illustrated moving fable expresses a hope for harmony between the human and animal worlds. Tyger! Tyger! is inspired by an actual Buddhist monastery in Thailand that for years has been a sanctuary for the beautiful Indo-Chinese tiger, one of the world's most endangered ...
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Overview

A little way into the darkness of the jungle, the young monk heard a stirring and held a light into the darkness. As foretold, two tiny cubs scrambled out from their hiding place and climbed into his arms. ~ From Tyger! Tyger! --- This beautifully illustrated moving fable expresses a hope for harmony between the human and animal worlds. Tyger! Tyger! is inspired by an actual Buddhist monastery in Thailand that for years has been a sanctuary for the beautiful Indo-Chinese tiger, one of the world's most endangered species.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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
Children's Literature
Opening the picture book with the evocation of the first four lines of William Blake’s 1794 poem “The Tyger,” Elizabeth Stanley brings readers into the world of the tigers by introducing them to the legend of a very old monk who walked into the jungle to die one evening. In the morning, in his place, lay a newborn tiger cub wrapped in the “old monk’s saffron robe.” After hinting at this transformation, the narrator takes us hundreds of years forward to a time when poachers begin to disturb the harmony that exists between humans and animals. As a young monk prays one evening, a voice speaks to him, asking him to protect two abandoned tiger cubs in the jungle. This he does, after which the monastery becomes a home and a sanctuary for these and other tigers. In time, the voice tells the monks to dig a moat to insure the safety of the big cats. Stanley follows the story with an author’s note about the details of this semi-true story of a Buddhist monastery in Bangkok, Thailand, that has become a sanctuary for tigers and injured and elderly wildlife. Stanley’s life-like pastel drawings have a luminous quality that sets up a notable contrast between the colorful tigers and the somber jungle habitat that can no longer support them as wild animals. While the full-page spread of a monk holding the face of a tiger up to his own face falls short of depicting these regal animals as pets, the parallel photograph at the end of the book of Stanley sitting among the tigers in the monastery in Bangkok suggests to readers that, though wild, these tigers might just be capable of the gentleness that the monks intuited when they decided to take them in to protect them from extinction. Reviewer: Michelle H.Martin, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 1-4
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.

Kirkus Reviews
The development of a Buddhist sanctuary for tigers threatened by poachers in Thailand is presented as a graphically illustrated fable. The message is strong and supported by haunting images, including one of a tiger shot between the eyes. An afterword describes the actual sanctuary, the Buddhist monastery of Pha Luang Ta Bua Yannasampanno, now a tourist destination visited twice by the Australian author. The gentle tone of the fable is belied by the strong words: explosion, carnage, extinction. In the realistic illustrations-double-page spreads done in pastels on textured paper-the eyes of the tigers sometimes stare directly at the reader, supporting the author's contention that they have "begged for refuge." These images are sure to linger in the minds of young readers. Teachers hoping to use the book as a springboard for class discussion of conservation issues, or as part of an area study, should be warned that some readers may be deeply disturbed. (Picture book. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592700684
  • Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,314,986
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.50 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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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