Tiger vs. Nightmare

illus. by Emily Tetri. 64p. First Second. Nov. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626725355.
RedReviewStarGr 1–3—In this endearing graphic novel, an anthropomorphic tiger cub's best friend is the monster under her bed. Tiger's parents think Monster is imaginary, but every evening, they let Tiger bring Monster dinner. Monster eats, the two of them play games, and when Tiger goes to sleep, Monster scares the nightmares away and makes sure the little cub gets a good night's rest. But when a nightmare that even Monster can't handle appears, Tiger has to learn to face her fears herself. The characters are adorable, and Tiger's world is original and futuristic, with flying vehicles and industrial-style buildings. The graphics are in gorgeous full color, with an almost blurred watercolor effect, beautifully conveying both delightfully creepy nightmare scenes and vibrant daytime illustrations. An image of intrepid little Tiger staring up at the nightmare, a creature with a shadowy body and a horned skull, is especially striking. The use of panels of a multitude of sizes enriches the narrative. The speech balloons are particularly well done, adding dimension to every mood or situation. The vocabulary is approachable—kids will enjoy reading this on their own or with an adult.
VERDICT Tetri has crafted a sweet, uplifting tale of best friends, imagination, bravery, and teamwork. Highly recommended for fans of Lorena Alvarez's Nightlights and anyone who has, or remembers having, nighttime terrors.

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