Review Blog

Aug 22 2011

The tiger-skin rug by Gerald Rose

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2011, ISBN 978 1408813034.
(Ages 4+) Recommended. Picture book. A reissue of an old favourite, The tiger-skin rug, will enthrall a new generation of readers and listeners. First published in 1979, it has always been one of those books that librarians patched and repaired, keeping it going for many years after its pages had fallen out. The story is one now familiar to most, of a tiger, skinny and emaciated, because his habitat has been reduced and he is getting old, who when looking through the window sees the rajah and his family living well. He also sees the servant carry out the floor rugs to beat. These include a number of animal skin rugs. He has an idea. He shimmies up onto the clothesline, lying across the line with the other animal rugs, waiting his turn. The best thing happens and he is taken inside and laid out on the floor with the other animal skin rugs. No one notices as he is so thin, he is just like any other rug. He has an idyllic existence, company and food, the scraps left on the floor by the family. But he must put up with the occasional beating and scrubbing. And he is getting a little more rotund. When one night, burglars come into the palace, he is able to scare them away so saving his new family, and securing a pleasant life for himself.
A lovely story with luminous illustrations that will cause much laughter amongst its readers, both young and old.
Fran Knight

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