Title: Tigress
Author: Nick Dowson
Illustrator: Jane Chapman
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book, Non-fiction, Nature
Book format: Paperback
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Description: Twigs with whiskers?  A tree with a tail?  Or is it a tigress, hiding?  Are you ready for some true tiger magic?

*Free copy provided by publisher as part of the ‘Nature Storybooks: Every Wonderful Word is True’ collection, for review…

Review:  This is a lovely book, the cover is what attracted me to this and it’s just filled with some great facts and stunning illustrations that many kids will enjoy. ‘Tigress’ is a picture book a bit wider than A4 in size but shorter in height and is filled with some lovely thick glossy pages. Each page or double page is filled with a sort of non-fiction story of the a tiger mother and her cubs and there are some amazing images throughout.

Tigress book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

As the title suggests this book follows the life of a Tigress raising its cubs. Like a documentary it’s a non-fiction book but follows this ‘story’ as it goes on to explain some interesting facts about the life of tigers. The book begins with the tiger mother and explains how well camouflaged a tiger can be before moving onto how the tigress looks after its young by seeking out a new den, moving them, feeding them, hunting, etc. Each page has something to learn about the tigers and although I personally know most of this already, having watched lots of nature programs and read lots of books on nature over the years, I know I would have enjoyed learning these facts as a child.

The story of the tigress and her cubs moves forward and shows her licking and looking after young cubs that need milk, then shows the cubs at six months old and then near adult stage before ending with the cubs being old enough to care for themselves. Although I like this story it did feel rushed when on the next page the cubs were suddenly older. I also felt that although I really enjoy the text and overall facts, some of which I found interesting like the white marks on their ears, I found some of the text, especially the main text on each page sometimes a bit different, perhaps almost poetic to read in a way that the youngest of children may not fully understand. It’s not a big issue and doesn’t take away from the facts or the story at all but I felt it could have been explained in an even simpler way – this is especially clear to me since comparing this book with others like ‘Ice Bear’ from the Nature Storybooks collection.

The illustrations are so stunning they are what drew me to this book! Every page is filled with a beautiful and quite detailed image of a tiger, or tigers and their surroundings. These images are so realistic to the point you can make out the individual hairs on the tiger and there’s something just so magical and beautiful about a book with such pictures. I love the image of the tigress in the water it’s just so realistic and you can’t help but feel for these animals. I also liked the paisley design used in areas without the pictures like the front and back of the book and around some of the text. The only part of the images I wasn’t so keen on was the poor wild pig that is obviously being hunted by the tigers. It looks scared and it made that moment feel sad, however it’s part of nature and the book doesn’t go into details other than the fact the tigers show teeth and will now eat.

Tigress book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

I would still recommend this book despite the fact the text at times I felt the text could be more simple. I do like this style of text but because this book is aimed at young children I think it can be a bit of an issue for some. However the illustrations and overall feel of this book does win me over and I still find myself looking at this book again and again, for the pictures alone! The back page of the book has some quick information and notes for teachers and parents and this book does support Key Stages 1-2 of both Science and English which makes this a good book for learning both at home and in the classroom. I would certainly give this book to any kids interested in learning more about these beautiful animals.

-Review first appeared online January 2018 – now republished here.

What do you think of this book?  Do you like tigers or any other big cats?  What’s your favourite animal?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂