The Dancing Tiger
By Malachy Doyle
Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Francher
Suggested age: 2-4 yrs
This is an elegant and magical story of a little girl who spies a tiger dancing in the woods under moonlight. The night-time illustrations are dreamy and dark.
The girl surprises the gentle tiger one night but as long as she keeps his secret, they'll dance together. That's just what they do, gracefully dancing through the seasons, which I particularly liked. At the end, she is now a great-grandmother and introduces her great-grandchild to the magic of the tiger's dancing.
“If you will keep my secret,
And never tell a soul,
Then you may come and dance with me
On nights the moon is whole”
The rhyme goes a long way to engage my (20 month old) girl's attention, and she does love tigers and moons.
So once a month, from then till now,However, although she reads books for older children, this one is a little on the more sophisticated fantasy side, and the dark illustrations don't offer as much contrast and detail as little one's prefer. She enjoys it well enough, but doesn't request it. So I agree with the general recommendation that it's suited to 2+ year-olds.
I've tiptoed to the wood.
We've swirled and swayed among the trees,
As tiger said we could.
It's a sweet story that supports imagination and bonds of friendship and kinship. It's actually quite powerful in a very understated way. I'm surprised that there aren't more reviews on Amazon.uk or Amazon.com. Our copy indicates it was the 2005 Silver Award winner for the Nestle book prize.