Wednesday, November 7, 2012

30 Days of Picture Books - It's a Tiger! by David LaRochelle

It's Day 7 of Picture Book Month, and it seems like the right time to talk about humor. Picture books can be thoughtful, introspective things, or full of insight, but they can also be bursting with silliness. That's one thing I love about this category of kidlit, that it doesn't take itself too seriously. Picture book authors love to play, with format and narrative and even style, and their efforts are usually rewarded with giggles of glee from their young audience. Quite honestly, I don't think we've ever gotten through Bark, George without both Sprout and Mama dissolving into fits of laughter. And what could be better than that?

Today's pick is a recent find and one that Sprout just adores. We first encountered it at the bookstore and I knew it would be a hit almost right away (we read it about five times that first day). Since then we've read it dozens more, to the point where Sprout has huge chunks of it memorized. It's a great pick for storytime or family time, because it's one you just won't get tired of.

Enough suspense -- the book is It's A Tiger! by David LaRochelle, with illustrations by Jeremy Tankard. You may recognize Tankard's style from some of his other books, most notably Grumpy Bird, which we also adore. And his trademark use of vivid color and bold lines fits perfectly with LaRochelle's simple -- and simply perfect -- narrative.

The pictures just about leap off the page, which is, I assure you, so very appropriate. This is the literary equivalent of a three-year-old boy trapped inside on a rainy day, energy just bursting from every quarter. "Are you ready for a story?" an unseen narrator asks of a hapless youngster. And we're off, starting in the jungle, "where the monkeys swing from vine to vine". Except one of those monkey tails looks strangely like. . . (can you guess what it is??). Oh no, I'm not telling -- this is one you have to experience yourself. It's just that delightful!

Kids will love the unexpected ending, but you'd better make time right off for a few repeat readings. 'Cause the best thing about silly books, my friends, is that even when you know the punch line, it's still a whole lot of fun to get there!

It's a Tiger! by David LaRochelle, published by Chronicle Books


Renee C. said...

This book looks great - I love the bold use of black and colour. It's very eye-catching.

I also wanted to invite you to link up in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. It's going on NOW. Here's the link:

Thanks! :D

Diane Estrella said...

Great book to add to the blog hop. Hope you have a wonderful week! :O)

Momand Kiddo said...

We really loved this book, too. Thanks for linking up to The Children's Bookshelf!

Karen Vanek said...

Hello from my tour of the Kid Lit Blog Hop! What a lovely metaphor of a rainy-day toddler :)

Jaymie Shook said...

Thanks so much for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop! I'm thrilled that Renee talked you into it ;)

I look forward to reading more from you!

Anonymous said...

Oh goodie! I've had my eyeballs on this one for a while. I'm a fan of Tankard's "Me Hungry". You can't go wrong if one of your characters is a woolly mammoth, I say!

David LaRochelle said...

Thank you for such a lovely review of my and Jeremy's book! You sure know how to brighten an author's day! If your blog followers are interested, they can find a free teaching guide and downloadable activity sheets for "IT'S A TIGER!" at my website, Again, thank you for all of your kind words! David LaRochelle