Don’t Wake Up Tiger. Britta Teckentrup. Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup. 2016. Nosy Crow. 24 pages.
“Don’t Wake Up Tiger” by Britta Teckentrup follows a stork, fox, tortoise, frog and mouse who are trying to sneak past a sleeping tiger while carrying a bunch of balloons. This story allows for a great deal of interaction as the reader is encouraged to help keep Tiger asleep by stroking her nose or rocking the book. Tension builds as it becomes increasingly harder to keep Tiger from noticing the animals floating past on their balloons. When Tiger eventually wakes up (dramatically to one of the balloons bursting!) I was amused to find that I was just as surprised as ThisBoy with the ending. It turns out they weren’t afraid of Tiger at all but simply trying to throw her a surprise birthday party.
The illustrations, also by Britta Teckentrup, are fun and bold with an almost crayon-like textured effect against a clean white background. With no distractions, the animals seem to jump off the page and the lines blur as we get drawn into being active participants in the story. The shiny balloons are a really fun touch throughout and draw the focus to them as a predominant plot device in the story. The font also cleverly varies in size and so encourages the reader to emphasize dramatic points (“Oh no!”) or directions to the child (“Blow! Blow as hard as you can!”).
ThisBoy loves joining in with action nursery rhymes (think “wheels on the bus” or “incy wincy spider”) and so this book was really fun for him. The directions are clear and easy to follow so ThisBoy was quickly able to remember and anticipate each one. He is soon invested in the story and develops a real sense of urgency, particularly when he blows the balloon to stop Fox from falling onto Tiger’s head. Having celebrated his second birthday relatively recently, ThisBoy loves any chance to sing “Happy Birthday” and so sings it with gusto along with the other animals at the end of the book.
About the Author
Britta Teckentrup is an award winning illustrator, author and fine artist. She was born in Hamburg and moved to London in 1988 to study illustration and fine art. Britta is the author and illustrator of many well-loved books for children, including the bestselling ‘The Memory Tree’, ‘The Odd One Out’, ‘Tree & Bee’ and ‘Grumpy Cat’. Since 1993 Britta has written and illustrated over 90 children’s picture books which have been published in over 20 different countries.
Mum’s Score: 4 out of 5
It’s a really fun and interactive book, however, this means there is limited opportunity for reflection as the pace of the story is perhaps a little too fast.
ThisBoy’s Score: 4 out of 5
The book often gets lost on the shelf as it’s a thin paperback among thicker board books so it doesn’t get chosen as much as it otherwise would.