Tiger Brother: A Tale Told in English and Chinese

SCPG. (Stories of the Chinese Zodiac). Jan. 2022. 42p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781938368677.
PreS-Gr 2–In a tale written in both English and Chinese, friendship and battle scenes live side by side. When Changsheng’s father returns to the family home in the Changbai Mountains in northeast China with a small tabby kitten, the child is delighted. He and the kitten are inseparable, even as the kitten grows enough to be recognized as a tiger, and even as the villagers in fear begin to distance themselves from the family. Changsheng travels with his tiger brother back to the mountains where they part ways, but not before Tiger Brother vows to return any time the family needs him. When a band of robbers sets upon the village, the tiger brother and all his tiger family quickly make good on that promise. Soft, dreamlike watercolors convey the power of the relationship, a near-battle scene with the robbers, and the shame of the villagers, apologizing to the tigers for fearing them. Back matter explains the cultural value of the tiger and more.
VERDICT This is a gorgeous addition to folktale shelves, but also offers lessons on friendship and loyalty.

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