Arthur and the Tiger (Sophie Beer, Puffin)
Sophie Beer has a knack for creating books that simultaneously feel contemporary and vintage, which is sure to make them modern classics. In Arthur and the Tiger, Arthur is the son of the circus ringmaster and isn’t brave at all. In fact, he hasn’t been able to find a single trick to perform because he is afraid of everything. He’d rather have a picnic and tea with his friends. When the circus gets a tiger and Arthur is told he is the one to tame it, he loses a lot of sleep. This is a charming picture book about the realisation that even your biggest fears might not be as bad as you expect—sometimes they are just new friends waiting to be made. Arthur and the Tiger could easily be used to open a discussion about fears and worry, or simply enjoyed as a fun circus escapade. The book’s evocative, yet not overly complicated language, as well as its well-paced length, make it ideal for dramatic reading aloud, either as a new storytime favourite or shared individually. Bright and full of Beer’s signature colour, movement and expression, Arthur and the Tiger is sure to please children aged 2–5.
Michael Earp is a writer and a bookseller at The Little Bookroom