Every so often I come across a picture book in which the text and artwork combine perfectly to create a book that is a true work of art. Today's picture book is just such a title, and it would make a great gift for readers of all ages because its message is truly timeless and ageless.
Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
For ages 4 to 7
Penguin, 2005, 0-670-06020-8
One night, when the summer moon is full, a little girl sees a tiger dancing in the woods near her house. She goes to investigate, and when he realizes that she is watching him the big and beautiful animal “gasp in fright.” The girl is also afraid but the “laughter in his lightening eyes” makes her realize that the tiger is not a danger to her. The tiger invites her to join him on the nights of the full moon as long as she keeps him a secret.
The girl is glad to keep the dancing tiger a secret, and every month, for just one night, she joins her friend in the woods to dance in the moonlight. They dance through spring flowers, autumn leaves, and in the snow, for year after year. Then there comes a time when the girl is no longer a girl, and her secret has to be passed on.
This magical book will take young readers into a moonlit world where two friends enjoy precious hours in each other’s company. The rhyming text is perfectly paired with Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher’s gorgeous and softly colored paintings.