Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye

The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye. Jane Yolen. Illustrated by Jim LaMarche. 2011. Random House. 32 pages.

The day Tiger Rose said goodbye was a soft spring day, the sun only half risen. Little brilliant butterflies, like bits of colored paper, floated among the flowers. Tiger Rose had been born in the city, but now she lived in the country in a house filled with laughter and cat treats. There, a boy and a girl loved her, a dog named Rowf tolerated her, and two grown-ups called Mom and Pop let her sit on the sofa as long as she did not use her claws.

If you're looking for a picture book about a pet cat that dies, AND The Tenth Good Thing About Barney* disgusts you, then The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye is the book for you. 

I'll be honest, I don't like books about pets that die. I really, really don't. Why? Because it's MISERABLE when a pet dies, and any book that talks about it just makes you feel all sad. Even if you've gotten over it--or you think you've gotten over it--reading about it can make you feel sad all over again.

BUT. If you're going to read about a cat dying, then The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye is a fine choice. I like that it is quiet, gentle, passive. There's a sweet certainty to it. It's not OVERLY dramatic, but it is final. Tiger Rose knows that this is the day, that her time has come. And she is saying goodbye to her life, goodbye to everything she loves. The fact that the humans in her life don't quite 'get' that she is saying goodbye with her meow, well, it doesn't change her sentiment.

The illustrations are my favorite part I think. They're just beautiful, I think. Very expressive. Yet gentle. Almost reflective. If the cat had had a fluffier tail, I'm not sure I could have finished this one with dry eyes.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 7 out of 10

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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