Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

Rating: 4.5 stars

Here's a brand-new book for ya.  I actually went to a bookstore to wander around the children's section and look for newly published, fall, and Halloween books.  I found a whole bunch of 'em, including this one that I purchased for a little friend who turns three on Saturday.

It.  Is.  GREAT!

Mr. Tiger lives in a busy, animal-filled town and is "bored of being proper."  Smiling is out of the question; he can only muster a stern look of frustration.  (The word "bored" is the only reason this book doesn't get 5 stars.  I know, I know...picky, picky me.)  He just can't be himself in his stuffy top hat and tight suit; he is unhappy. But Mr. Tiger finally gets the nerve to loosen up, have a little fun, start going a little wild.  He starts small: he stops walking on two feet and goes back to a primal four.  He then starts chasing (gasp!) children.  He roars on park benches.  He leaps acrobatically instead of stiffly sauntering.
Everyone was perfectly fine with the way things were.
Everyone but Mr. Tiger.

After he takes his clothes off (ha!), the still-stuffy townspeople suggest he go live in the wilderness, if he's going to be wild.  So, happily, he does.  It is beautiful there, and he has a grand time.

For a little while.

Then he gets lonely and realizes that he misses people.  As my philosopher-dad would say, he knows he's got to live as an individual, but in society; he's got to find the right balance of living true to himself, but also within the rules.  He's welcomed back to his hometown, where he finds "that things are beginning to change."  Many animals have abandoned two-legged walking in favor of four-legged bounding.
Mr. Tiger became wilder each day.

By the end, a feeling-more-free Mr. Tiger is smiling in an aloha shirt.

I don't just like this book because, coincidentally, two days before I discovered it I also discovered Katie Perry's song "Roar"(yup, I linked you to the song with lyrics because you know me, I can't remember the words to even my favorite songs).  And, two days after discovering this book, my boys and I drove home listening to said catchy song, had it turned up full blast, and roared like fools (who also think we are champions).  Or like fool tigers maybe.

No, I like this book because everyone should read it, and everyone should learn from the message of the succinct and talented author-illustrator Peter Brown.  (I like his stuff, but I think this is his best book by far.)  Especially grown-ups who feel like they live in a stuffy world, who feel pressured to look and act a certain way.  We should all remain a little wild, I think, for our own soul's sake but also so to be a good example for our kids (maybe that will give some of us a little inspiration to go a little wild).  By daring to be a little unique, I'd like to show them that they, too, can dare to be a little unique.

May we all roar more!


  1. Our sweet Arlo was the lucky birthday recipient of this fabulous book. We count ourselves lucky to have friends who value books (GOOD books) as much as we do and gift them for special occasions.
    This book is just wonderful for our spirited boy who is more R-O-A-R and less proper than is occasionally called for. His clothing choice is always on the side of Aloha as opposed to buttoned up and he also has a penchant for streaking... Yup lots of similarities going on!
    This book is great for pointing out that sometimes, for the sake of our friends and communities we need to tune things down just a smidgen... But this reminder comes without any shame for being ourselves and living out loud. It really does strike just the right balance.
    Thanks Schwartz Family! Proper thank you note is in the mail. xo

  2. I hope Arlo always has at least one aloha shirt in his closet. :)