Book title and Author(s): How Tiger Got His Stripes retold by Rob Cleveland
Introduce the book (Genre and age range): This is a retelling of a Vietnamese folktale. The folktale is for children ages 4-8.
Summary: Tiger is a very proud creature. He is proud of his claws, fangs, and beautiful golden coat. He is unafraid of any of the jungle creatures, except Water Buffalo. One day, he sees Water Buffalo working a field and being ordered around by a much smaller creature. This creature had no fangs or claws or fur. Curious, Tiger made his way over to Water Buffalo and asked him what that creature was and why he was taking orders from them. Water Buffalo said the creature is Man and he listens to Man because Man has wisdom. Wanting to acquire some wisdom for himself, Tiger made his way to Man who was herding sheep. Lion jumped in front of Man, scaring him, and demanded he give him some wisdom. He wanted it because he too wanted to order Water Buffalo around. Man insisted that wisdom was not something that could be given to someone else, but Tiger was persistent and continued to ask him for wisdom. Man said he would go grab wisdom for Tiger, which was in his house. Man stopped for a moment however. He was afraid that Tiger would eat his sheep while he was gone, so he asked if he could tie his tail to a tree, just to make sure. Tiger agreed and had his tail tied to a tree. Man was still sure Tiger would be able to eat his sheep so he asked for his body to be tied to the tree. Tiger agreed and was tied down. This ends with Man tying Tiger’s head to the tree as well. Man then walks away with his sheep. Time goes by and man does not return. Getting hungry, Tiger tried to escape, but the ropes were getting tighter on his skin. He eventually broke free and burned stripes into his skin. He did not know this at first, but learned it later after seeing his reflection in a pond. Water Buffalo and other animals begin to make fun of him and he goes and hides in the shadows.
Favorite Part: My favorite part was the ending. Everything is tied up in a nice, neat bow and helps get the overall message across.
Recommendation: I would recommend this story to children. I think that the story itself is entertaining. It is also, like many fables and folktales, relatable to all children. It teaches about virtues such as kindness, courage, and resourcefulness. These are all important values and this folktale will be able to effectively get the message across.