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A Tiger Called Thomas
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PreS-Gr 2-Charlotte Zolotow's well-known picture book, first published in 1963, has been reprinted with new illustrations by Diana Cain Bluthenthal (Hyperion, 2003). In this iconographic production, Cassandra Morris narrates the story of a very shy African-American boy named Thomas who is afraid that no one in his new neighborhood will like him. His understanding mother keeps suggesting people he might go introduce himself to, mostly neighbors, young and old. Thomas just keeps watching everyone from his front steps. When Halloween arrives, Thomas's mom buys him a tiger costume. Thinking that no one will recognize him in the costume, Thomas feels brave enough to go trick or treating by himself. He's confused and surprised that the neighborhood folks he has been watching know who he is even though he's covered head to toe by the costume. His mom tells him that they recognized him because they like him. With newfound confidence, Thomas seems poised to become more outgoing. The gentle, textured illustrations translate well onscreen. Eric Miller's background music adds to the atmosphere but does not intrude. A good choice to help young children see that insecurities are normal but can be overcome.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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