The Tale of the Tiger Slippers

Putnam. Sept. 2019. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780399170744.
K-Gr 2–Brett’s latest foray into the world of folklore has readers following a self-made tiger and the slippers that he reverently displays. Though worn and old, the red embroidered slippers were a gift from his mother when they were poor. As the young cub built his wealth, the footwear endured throughout his labors. But after attaining new status, others questioned their appropriateness. Time and time again, he tried to throw them away, and yet, they always came back. Eventually, thanks to his son, who narrates the enveloping narrative, the tiger realizes the inherent lesson in this. You can’t throw away your past. That self may no longer be who you are, but it is a part of you, which should be treasured. Brett’s retelling of the Persian tale, “Abu Kassem’s Slippers,” doesn’t strictly adhere to the most recognized version, especially in terms of the character. Additionally, this one specifically sets itself in a Mughal court. The lavish textiles and swooping architecture of ancient India look fantastic in this illustrator’s finely drawn style. As usual, readers will find a world full of geographically relevant animals living their lives within her triptychs.
VERDICT Brett continues to be one of the most revered retellers of classic tales. An automatic purchase for most libraries.

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