Those of you living in the city may be familiar with the odd news story of individuals found living with wild animals such as tigers or alligators. It might be fun to speculate whether the tiger found in 2003 in Harlem was adopted after its owner read Diane Goode's Tiger Trouble.
Of course I am being facetious, but Tiger Trouble certainly makes the idea of owning a tiger in an apartment building seem appealing. In an apartment building at #33 River Street, Jack lives with his Tiger, Lily. (Love the name.) They are best friends and do everything together. Unfortunately the new landlord, Mr. Mud, and his bulldog, Fifi, are not fans of cats. However, when Lily saves the day (and Fifi), Mr. Mud turns over a new leaf and Lily gets to stay.
This is a simply charming story. Goode's narration is light, sweet and stands up to repeated readings (I ought to know, this book is requested again and again by my 2 year old!). The setting is turn of the century New York (although, for the most part, it could be any city) where kids roam free, play stickball, chase fire engines and play tug-of-war in the streets. In fact, the city seems to be a place populated almost entirely by independent children. There is nary a parent in sight. Adults are present but only those that serve the plot. The apartment building is the center of the action: kids hang out of every window and they gather on its stairs. Those of us with real estate envy will gaze longingly at the period details which have now come to be so desirable in the NYC housing market.
Goode's illustrations are colorful, playful and she is a master at amusing facial expressions. Close observers will notice funny little details, like Mr. Mud's full name and an homage to a silent picture star.
Love the story, love the pictures, love the tiger.
Read about a real life apartment dwelling tiger.
Visit the author's website.
Big Kid says: That is a strange looking fire engine.
Little Kid says: Roar!