Happy Birthday Judith Kerr and thank you for your wonderful books.
As I read many different picturebooks in a week by many different critically acclaimed writers and illustrators, it is nice to be reminded of some clssical favourites.
"The Tiger Who Came to Tea" was one of the first books I read as a newly qualified teacher after being placed as a supply teacher in a nursery. It demonstrated to me that it is possible to tell a story with fewer words and events than I had first sub-consciously assumed. A tiger visits a mother and daughter, eats and drinks them out of house and home and leaves, and the children love it!
As I read the book more and more, the recurring feeling I experience is curiosity - after accepting that a tiger has arrived at the house (a fact easier to accept in the world of children’s picturebooks) the facial expressions of the mother and the daughter towards the tiger are interesting. They are not scared, they too seem curious.
This is an excellent story to encourage children to develop a curiosity about the world, to think beyond basic facts:
Where did the tiger come from?
What would you do if a tiger arrived at your door?
If you could meet a tiger what would you say?
Is there another animal you would like to visit you?
What if you could visit the home of a tiger - what would it be like, what would you do?
Children’s responses to questions such as these can be built on and interesting continuations of the story and role play created. Mark making and artwork are other areas which would help to develop children’s understanding of the relevance of illustration.