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Thomas and Tiger
Table of Contents
Older holiday books for kids have a tendency to be a bit on the white side. Listen to the whole show here on Soundcloud or download it through iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your preferred method of podcast selection. You can read the piece The Case for Re-Illustration for my full thoughts. It bounces around! I mean, how would that even work?
In many ways, cats are not as easy as dogs for people to make friends with, which may explain why Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's new book, "The Tribe of Tiger: Cats and Their Culture," does not have quite the warm appeal of her best-selling book of last year, "The Hidden Life of Dogs. But cats, too, have their considerable allure, as Ms. Thomas makes clear in her introductory reference to Christopher Smart, the 18th-century English poet, who found during his eight-year solitary confinement in a madhouse that his only relief from loneliness and despair was provided by the presence of his cat, Jeoffry. Smart devoted 75 radiant lines to Jeoffry in an otherwise endless, rambling poem. Three of these lines read:.
A Tiger Called Thomas is a sweet story that climaxes on Halloween night, but it's much more than a holiday tale. First published in and re-illustrated here by Diana Cain Bluthenthal, this children's classic focuses on the heart how a boy named Thomas worries about making friends, and how a tiger costume helps him learn that he is, indeed, liked and known by all in his new neighborhood. Young Thomas has moved into a new community, where he sees many interesting people, but he simply sits on his stoop, too shy to venture out, because he's afraid he won't be liked. He won't play with young Marie, or say hi to the lady with the black cat, and he's afraid to reach out to a lonely boy named Gerald. Thomas sits and watches: "He watched the sparrows and the grackles and the blue jays in the trees. He watched the black cat look up at the sparrows and the grackles and blue jays.