Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus, Columbus Zoo and Host of the Emmy Award Winning show Into The Wild
The Tiniest Tiger is an endearing story about a confused little house cat who meets up with some really wild cats--lions, tigers, cheetahs and more--in an attempt to find others of her own kind! Through these encounters, readers learn about interesting characteristics that make each wild cat different!
A charming introduction to the world of exotic cats and endangered species.
Stories for Children Magazine 5 Star Review, August 11, 2008
REVIEWED BY: Wayne S. Walker
This delightful and nicely illustrated little book, which will please all animal, and especially cat, lovers, features a young kitten, with a black-stained pink nose, a short striped tail having a black tip, and irregular markings. She chases a butterfly out of the alley where she lives with other cats and gets lost at the zoo. While there, she asks various big cats if maybe she belongs with them, including the tiger, lion, cheetah, leopard, puma, jaguar, bobcat, and ocelot. Are any of them able to adopt her? Or will she ever find a home? The story has enough repetition to make it ideal for young readers. I agree with Jack Hanna's assessment: "The Tiniest Tiger is an endearing story about a confused little house cat who meets up with some really wild cats.
The book is not only fun to read but educational as well because it shows both the similarities and differences between the zoo cats and the kitten and it provides key facts for each of the different big cats, including their status on the endangered list. In addition to its increasing awareness of the need for conservation efforts, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of The Tiniest Tiger, the author's first book, will benefit projects for the protection of endangered wild cats in Africa, Asia, North America, and South America, through the Conservation Fund of the Columbus (OH) Zoo and Aquarium. I highly recommend it.
Delightful & Educational!, June 27, 2008
All creatures long for a place to call home and in this tender read by author, Joanne L. McGonagle, we meet an alley kitten who stumbles upon a zoo and begins a quest searching for where she would belong. We travel with this precious kitten as she asks each wild cat she meets if she belongs with them. Amongst them are lions, tigers, leopards, and cheetahs that our kitten encounters as she searches for her identity, and the place where she belongs. We learn some important facts about each wild cat, and see their characteristics. It is the wise tiger who gives the kitten wisdom and points her in the right direction to find happiness.
This is a very good read. It is educational and gives learning information in a fun way. The illustrations are bright and colorful and the ending brings a smile. A very well written tale and great learning experience. A book that young and old will surely enjoy.
A Delight for Your Child Together with Conservation Concerns!
, July 14, 2008
I'm a collector of cat books as well as cat memorabilia of all kinds! So, needless to say, I was pleased to receive my copy of The Tiniest Tiger by Joanne L. McGonagle. I am delighted to add it to my library! This is a children's book; however, I must say it is so much more!
The storyline is sweet and will be a delight to share with young children! I suggest that you read it or help your child read it through the first time. Why? Well, there is a major emphasis on large cats all being endangered. As each new cat is introduced, statistics are provided regarding the normal size and litter and a small map is provide to show where each cat normally lives. This information will be very beneficial in teaching children about animal conservation; however, younger children will need some assistance in understanding the "sign" that appears on specific pages.
The tiniest tiger is a striped shorthair domestic kitten that has been playfully led astray by a butterfly. She thankfully winds up near a zoo and notices that there are large cats there. Surely she can find a place to live with them and so she first finds a tiger and asks if she can live with her.
At this point, I must admit that my personal attention was immediately drawn to the paintings of the cats. In addition to the beautiful cover, there are 15 two-page spreads in this book, 9 of which show wonderful detailed color portraits by Rachel Mahaffey of the 8 endangered cats. I studied the details in each painting, and found them excitingly specific to show the differences between the big cats. I believe your children will find many happy hours going through the pages as the little cat was sent around the zoo, trying to find a home. As I continued the story, I knew that the comparison to each of the cats was instinctual as well as part of the story. My own cats will seek, first, to build friendships with those of the same color and length of hair when they are old enough to be on their own. And then they work to become part of the overall larger group. It will be fun to read along with your child, to study the details of each of the big cats and see how they differ from each other as well as the little kitten.
Yes, of course, the tiniest tiger finds a home right there at the zoo. Which big cat do you think adopted her? You are in for a surprise if you choose the Bobcat!
Please note that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of The Tiniest Tiger will benefit conservation projects for endangered wild cats.
I admit it--I thoroughly enjoyed The Tiniest Tiger! If you are a "cat" person, are concerned about conservation of our wild life, or have a child or grandchild with whom you want to share the joy of reading and learning...then, by all means, this book is for you! Enjoy!
A wonderful giftbook for young cat lovers everywhere., July 11, 2008
The Tiniest Tiger is a softcover picturebook about a kitten who becomes lost in a zoo, and befriends a number of her big cat distant relatives. Young readers get to learn about endangered cat species such as tigers, lions, ocelots, jaguars and more. At last the "tiniest tiger" kitten is adopted by the family of the zookeeper and befriends the domestic cat in their home. The gentle color illustrations and message of conservation make The Tiniest Tiger a wonderful giftbook for young cat lovers everywhere.
Kids and adults alike will love this book, July 9, 2008
Author McGonagle has created a most enjoyable vehicle for teaching children several things about the great cats of the world. A small kitten becomes separated from her littermates while chasing butterflies and then while trying to find her way home, wanders into the local zoo. The poor lost kitten goes from one cat to another trying to find where she belongs, only to have how she is different from each cat pointed out to her.
By using a small domestic kitten to visit the various cats at the zoo, the author easily moves the child reading the book from a familiar subject (kittens) to the subject needing to be taught (great cats). The result is a charming book that will serve a fairly broad age range of children.
With the lovely watercolor illustrations and sweet story, The Tiniest Tiger makes an excellent picture book to read aloud to very young children. But this book goes well beyond a picture book. Stretching this book's usefulness are the wonderful examples of classifications of cats sprinkled throughout as the kitten is compared to each zoo cat. Not only will children learn what makes a tiger a tiger, they will learn what traits a tiger (lion, ocelot etc) does not share with other cats.
Still older children will be interested in the "cat facts" presented as our kitten visits each of the zoo's cats.
Overall, The Tiniest Tiger is not only a lovely book but one that children will be able to enjoy for years to come.
DELIGHTFUL NEW CHILDREN'S BOOK.
, June 23, 2008
The Tiniest Tiger by Joanne L. McGonagle offers every thing I like in a children's book. It is quite readable, it is a great read along book, it gives the child lots of facts in a way that is palatable and the art work is "doable" and a joy to the eye. I enjoyed every page of this one.
The story, which is quite well written, is of a small, stray kitten that becomes lost and cannot find her litter mates. This happens while she is chasing butterflies, an obsession with kittens, I have noted. Our little cat happens to find herself at the local zoo and sees a sign stating she is at the "Big Cat Section." This is where the story actually begins. Our little lost kitten goes from big cat to big cat asking if she could join them as she has lost her way home and really has no where to stay. The author has used this as a vehicle to introduce us to endangered species of cats from around the world. Our little kitten visits the Tiger, Lion, Cheetah, Clouded Leopard, Puma, Jaguar, Bobcat and Ocelot. While all the big cats are friendly, they all reject her for one reason or another. Now for those of you who read my reviews, you know I am not into injecting "spoilers" into my little write-ups, so I won't here, but trust me; it all ends quite well for the little lost kitten.
There was much to like in this work and, as far as I am concerned, nothing to dislike. The author uses a straight forward s syntax that is easy to read and goes perfectly with the art work. Joanne McGonagle has provided information about each species cat visited, and has accomplished this in a way that leaves room for discussion with the children, while still giving them quite a lot of information right from the text. I did appreciate the fact that the author has introduced words that the average second, third or fourth grader may not be familiar with, ergo, we do not get the same old thing that the children have encountered in many previous books. This gives the individual reading the book with the child a good opportunity to discuss "words," which, for me, is one of the most important parts of the learning process. If the child is not challenged, the child loses, and trust me, becomes bored rather quickly. The story flows quite well, is logical and Ms. McGonagle, who must have a great sense of humor, has been able to slip some pretty cute stuff in here and there. I like that.
I loved the art work in this little book. Having read to literally hundreds of children, I have found that so often they are simply turned off by art that is too "photographic." By that, I mean, the child should be able to look at a picture, and in the back of their minds say "hey, I might be able to do that some day." I like the natural colors the author has used and the way the colors have been blended. When you are actually out in the bush, everything is blended, it flows, nothing is sharp. That is the way nature is. And the paintings in this work give us a feeling of actually being with the cats, in their natural surroundings, even if it is in a zoo. When I take kids on nature hikes, one of the things I stress is "LOOK." Works such as this get their little eyes and minds use to such things.
While this is a nice little story that is bound to appeal to children, it also addresses a most serious subject. Each year our big cat population in this world goes down and down. If we do not do something, and do it soon, we are going to simply be without these magnificent creatures. This, for me, is a horrible thought. We simply cannot start our children out young enough learning the seriousness of the situation. Works such as we have here, go along way in starting the process of making our children and grandchildren aware.
This is certainly a book that needs to the in the local and school library and in addition to that, should be made available in the gift shop of your local zoo. I highly recommend this one!
A Great Way to Teach Children About Endangered Species, June 23, 2008
"The Tiniest Tiger" tells the story of a cute little kitten who wanders into a zoo hoping to find cats of her own kind. She wants to be among other cats like herself so that she will find a home and a place to be accepted. Instead, this little kitten discovers a whole world of different kinds of cats. Showing respect to each one, she seeks out the one species that will be just like her own. Along the way she gets to meet lions, tigers, cheetahs, pumas, jaguars, bobcats, ocelots, and even a rare clouded leopard. The clouded leopard would also love to find more of her kind, but it is difficult because they are critically endangered.
Anyway, the little kitten manages to learn about each of these species of cats and their differences to each other. She also sese signs that tell her very important information about each species, such as their height, weight, life span, and how endangered they are. While she doesn't find any cats like herself, she does manage to find a warm, loving home.
I think that this is a great children's book. What a blessing to be able to entertain a child with a heart warming story and teach them about endangered species. As an animal lover, I found that I learned a lot by reading this. In addition to teaching a valuable lesson about the need for conservation, I also think that this book teaches a lesson about accepting and being kind to others who a different from you. This imparts a great message to children when encountering people of other races; while you are looking to find something in common with others, appreciate the differences. "The Tiniest Tiger" would be an asset to any child's library.
Well Done, June 18, 2008
A lovely book that will delight the heart of any child. It tells a delightful story that reminds me of the tales I listened to as a child. The tale finds a way of telling a story and at the same time teaching children about the Cat family as a whole. I loved every page. My one minor(very minor) quibble was that I felt that the drawings weren't as clean and neat as some other children's book that I have seen. But like I said this is a very minor quibble and is very likely that my expectations are based on my being a member of the Walt Disney and CGI generation. But in fact the more I think of it, the rougher nature of the drawings are actually part of its charm. So no complaints. I will happily pass this on to my young cousins who will love reading this nice tale.
Charmingly told little story about a lost kitten at the zoo
, June 18, 2008
For a children's book to really be effective, to say something to the child, to engage the child's sense of wonder, the book must in some way relate to the concerns a child might have. But it must do so in a way that frightens neither the child nor its parents. Here we have a little kitten chasing a butterfly until, completely wrapped up in her play, she finds herself lost.
This is the sort of thing that could happen to a child. When I was four years old I followed the sight of a blimp until, with eyes on the sky, I found myself stuck in the La Brea Tar Pits of Los Angeles! Two paper boys heard my cries and, laying planks of wood out upon the tar, managed to pull me out.
In "The Tiniest Tiger" the kitten goes into a zoo to find a home among the big cats there only to be gently guided from one big cat to the other. Each cat says that yes little kitten you have markings and such that you might grow up to be like me, but probably not. Go and try the next cat.
And so the little kitten goes from the tiger to the lion to the cheetah to the leopard...and so on until she is found by the zoo keeper's daughter and welcomed into their home where a cat with her markings named Hazel also lives.
A nice touch in this gently illustrated book are signs at the zoo giving various facts about the big cats, such as their size and how long they live and whether they are endangered or not along with a little map showing the extent of their range in the wild.
Great Book for 6-11 yrs.
, June 16, 2008
I found The Tiniest Tiger, by Joanne L. McGonagle, charming. Joanne McGonagle is listed as a new author and she resides in Ohio. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the book go to conservation of endangered wild cats through the Conservation Fund of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The author states, "No matter how big or small the results, the important thing is to try!"
Targeted for ages seven to eleven, this children's story relays a tiny kitten's adventures through the large cat exhibit in the zoo after becoming lost. Searching for a way home or a place to belong, the tiny kitten encounters a tiger, a lion, a cheetah, a clouded leopard, a puma, a jaguar, a bobcat, and an ocelot. While learning about these various cats, the tiny kitten realizes he doesn't fit in there with them, and so the hunt continues for a home.
I found a few editorial errors, but nothing of great concern. The only real negative critique I can give is that this book is designed to enlighten children about endangered wild cats, but does not explain what endangered means. I would have liked to have seen a small description or definition in the book somewhere, worked into the storyline.
The book gives great detail about every wild cat in the Big Cat Section of the zoo including: endangered status, size, weight, life span in the wild and in the zoo, pack/litter size, and the area of the world that is native home. While moving on to the different types, we learn little tidbits about each cat that makes them unique or stand out from the rest. I would strongly recommend this to second, third, and fourth grade classrooms, as it is a great teaching tool for endangered cats, the differences in them, problem solving skills, and it goes to a great cause. I certainly hope the author chooses to do other titles along this line such as endangered ocean life, or other mammal species.
The Tiniest Tiger is a skillfully crafted and well-written read for children. The illustrations are phenomenal and the message is powerful. Bravo!
Author and Reviewer
The Tiniest Tiger , August 7, 2008
A little alley cat gets lost while chasing a butterfly. The little kitten finds himself at the zoo, right in front of a sign that says "Big Cat Section". He hopes that maybe he can find a home with one of these cats. First, she meets a tiger. The two do look a bit alike but not enough alike for this to be her new home. Instead, she is sent to another big cat in hopes of having better luck there.
At each stop along the way, we learn with the little kitten a little more about each of the big cats and how they differ. For those interested in learning a bit more about these cats, the author includes a little fact sign for each animal. Does the kitten ever find a home? You'll have to read the book to find out.
Should be in every zoo giftshop!
, August 4, 2008
A lost kitten squeezes under the zoo fence and begins to look for a place to live. Approaching the Tiger, the kitten asks if she can live there. The Tiger sends her to the Lion and soon the little kitten was meeting every large cat in the zoo in hopes of finding a home. Easy to read with colorful illustrations, The Tiniest Tiger can be a basic story for the youngest reader or an educational tool for the older child. Each cat has a page dedicated to its species with descriptive information as well as endangered status. A sweet tale that is easy to read aloud.
Great book and a great cause!
, July 26, 2008
The Tiniest Tiger is a colorful children's picture book following the adventure of a small kitten as she tries to find her niche. When she accidentally finds herself in a zoo, she progresses from one caged feline to the next, trying to discover where she belongs.
The educational value of this book is phenomenal. As the kitten greets each new character, the picture features a signpost with important facts about that particular species. For example: body length, life span, and endangered statuses are common notes listed. Children and animals are usually a winning combination, and The Tiniest Tiger is no exception. My nine-year-old "Animal Planet" fan devoured this book.
The only issue I have is that mixed in with the beautiful illustrations, there are awkward pages with a few lines of text and no pictures. It disrupts the flow and I feel like the lines could be distributed in a way that doesn't leave blank pages. In the case of a children's picture book, often the target audience isn't able to read yet and is relying solely on the pictures for visualization. Young readers often have limited attention spans, and the blank pages open up opportunities for distraction.
Blank pages aside, animal lovers and children will find The Tiniest Tiger makes a great addition to a library. As an incentive for buying the book, a portion of the proceeds benefits conservation projects for endangered wild cats through the Conservation Fund of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Save the cats, learn and enjoy a good book at the same time!
Given the total package award - well written, skillfully illustrated, educational, and socially conscious!
, July 26, 2008
The adventurous kitten had one thing on her mind - playing with the colorful butterfly. She played and followed the butterfly from her familiar back alley all the way to the city zoo. Soon after losing eye contact with the butterfly she realized she was lost. The first cat she saw with the Tiger. Talking with the Tiger they quickly notice that she doesn't belong with him. The tiny kitten made her way through the zoo visiting with every tiger, lion, cheetah, puma, jaguar, and bobcat. How will she find her way back to a cat that looks like her?
THE TINIEST TIGER is an informative story written for children 4-8 years old. The 52-page book provides details about various `cats' that live in the zoo. The nature and characteristics of each animal is discussed in relation to the kitten. The watercolor illustrations are vibrant depictions of the wildlife and will give young kids hours of enjoyment.
This is a great family read that will increase everyone's knowledge about the `cats' that live at the zoo. School teachers, librarians, parents, zoo and wildlife preservations should all have copies available for sale. I also love the fact that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit conservation projects for endangered wild cats. THE TINIEST TIGER wins the total package award - well written, skillfully illustrated, educational, and socially conscious - add it to your children's library today!
"A Cute Story That Introduces the Plight of Endangered Animals"
, June 30, 2008
Reviewed by: Stephanie Rollins for ReviewYourBook.com 6/2008
A kitten wants a family. He tries to fit in with each zoo animal. It just does not work. Along comes a little girl, looking at the tigers. Then, she spots the little kitten. She takes the kitten home. The kitten lives happily ever after.
Facts are given throughout the book about endangered animals. The plot is not stopped or weighed down with the facts. There are illustrations of each animal's domain at the zoo. Outside of its domain is a sign, giving facts on endangerment. It is an intelligent way to weave together facts and fiction
This book is for older elementary school children. It would make great required reading. All elementary school teachers need to read this. They may be able to incorporate it into their study plans.
House cat meets eight big cats of Africa, and we learn a bit about each of them!
, June 25, 2008
I liked this book. The illustrations were good, and the text was good. And the story was good. The star of the story is a young house cat who wanders into the local zoo. There the little kitten meets up with the following big cats of Africa: tiger, lion, cheetah, clouded leopard, puma, jaguar, bobcat, and ocelet.
I would have liked the book better if there had been less white space in the pages. The book for the most part alternates two illustration pages with two text pages so it is kind of boring to read the text without pictures being available. I think the text-filled pages should have had some smaller illustrations in the margins or above and below the text.
As I read the story I could not help notice that some cats were vulnerable, some were endangered, and some were critically endangered. I think there should have been a definition for each somewhere in the book. And I didn't see any. There was a typo in the Tiger's KEY FACTS SIGN at page 6. It should have read "lbs" rather than "ibls." And on the back cover of the book there is a photo of a man, woman and cat. I assume the woman pictured is the author and the cat is what inspired the book, but it would have been nice if the picture were labeled.
There is no mention as to who created the illustrations. I assume the author is also the illustrator. If so, she is quite talented. 4 stars!
A recommended Read, June 23, 2008
Perfect for children ages 4-8.
The Tiniest Tiger is a wonderful and charming tale of a small kitten who becomes lost while chasing a butterfly. And in the process of looking for a new home ends up at the zoo and eventually finds the perfect home. The story is beautifully illustrated and filled with interesting facts about endangered cats and I would very much recommend it as a great way to teach small children about nature and conservation...
Protecting the World's Big Cats
, December 28, 2008
The Tiniest Tiger is a book with multiple messages; one about belonging and another about conservation. This book focuses on the different species of big cats and one small, domestic cat who notices that she has things in common with all of them, but cannot seem to find one with enough in common to feel at home.
One of the important messages in this book is achieving a sense of belonging. The main character in this book is a little kitten who wants to find some other cat with whom to relate. She goes from one big cat to the next after wandering into a zoo and she has no luck finding the right companion, but she continues to try and she politely accepts the advice of each of the big cats to consider a different species of cat. Each of the big cats, while they do reject the little kitten because she isn't exactly like them, are still very nice, reciprocating the politeness of the kitten as she searches for another cat with whom to identify.
Most children's books contain messages about social norms, so this is nothing new. But The Tiniest Tiger has another message that is less commonplace but still very important: That big cats are all listed on endangered species lists and they need to be protected so they don't disappear from the planet. Each time the little kitten visits another big cat, a fact sheet is present and in every instance, the word Endangered is printed at the top of the list, in bold, red letters. This is intended to bring attention to the fact that all big cats are endangered to one degree or another. Following the endangerment warning is a list of facts about each big cat, like it body length, weight, life span, litter size, and level of endangerment status. The fact sheet even includes a map of the world showing the cat's habitat in the wild. These facts serve to educate young readers on the key differences between these big cats, showing that the differences are more than just the physical appearance, which is often the only way that most people know one big cat from another.
The illustrations in The Tiniest Tiger are nice and they offer a look that is a little different from other children's books. Instead of relying on computer images and well- defined lines, these illustrations look like sketches that have been hand painted in someone's home. They are not as precise in design as the illustrations in other children's book, but they fit the book and its message just fine. The only thing I don't like about the illustrations is the pairs of pages with no illustrations. With each big cat encounter, the little kitten is pictured with the big cat and the fact sheet, but there are no words. The conversation between the two, and the results that occur, are covered on the next pair of pages, which include no illustrations at all. I surmise that The Tiniest Tiger was illustrated in this manner so that young readers would focus solely on the fact sheets and learn about these different cats. But it still would have looked better if the blank sheets had some type of illustration and not just words.
The Tiniest Tiger is, overall, a very nice children's book with several important messages. This book wants children to understand the issues of belonging, but more important than that, The Tiniest Tiger is a book about the importance of conservation as it relates to the world's big cats. From tigers to bobcats, big cats are a threatened species of animal and a concerted effort is needed so that the big cats, much like the little kitten in this book, can eventually find a safe habitat of their own.
Fun, educational fiction
, October 28, 2008
This is story about a little alley cat that loses her way when she chases a butterfly out of an alley. She wanders aimlessly until she comes to the zoo. The first animal she sees is Tiger. She tells Tiger she is lost and can't find her way back to the alley. She wants to know if she can live with the tiger. Tiger looks her over and says, "Although you have a little pink nose with a black stain, and a striped tail, I do not think that you belong here. You mentioned that you lived with other cats. Lions live in organized social groups. Perhaps you should go and ask Lion what she thinks."
So, the kitten does just that. Lion looks her over and notices she has some similarities to the lion's body, but she doesn't look enough like a lion to belong there, either. So, lion sends her off to Cheetah. Cheetah does the same thing as Lion and sends the little kitten off to see Clouded Leopard. Then she speaks to Puma, Jaguar, Bobcat, and Ocelot, each in turn. Ocelot sends her back to Tiger.
The poor kitten is exhausted by her fruitless trip around the zoo. Tiger feels sorry for her and invites her to spend the night with her. The kitten curls up and is soon asleep. The next day is a much better day for the little kitten, but I won't tell you why. You'll have to read the book to find out!
This story is cute and well-told with enough repetition to please any child. The story is also packed with lots of interesting facts about each animal. Not only does each cat compare the kitten to itself, each time the kitten meets another zoo cat, there is an illustration of that particular cat along with a sign listing vital facts and information about that animal. All the cats in this particular part of the zoo are on the Endangered Species list.
I really liked this book and I recommend it, but I can't do so without making a couple of small comments. I found several punctuation errors in the book that were distracting. Also, although I loved the beautiful, detailed paintings of each animal, there is too much white space to suit my tastes. Most of the text pages, between the pictures and descriptions of different animals, are printed on plain white paper. I don't really think there has to be a picture on every page (although that would be very nice), but I think the text should at least be printed on a colored background, something to break up all that white. Just a thought. .
All in all, this is a great book about endangered cats. 4 stars.