Tala the Bengal tiger by Beverley Jatwahi and Sunita Chawdhary

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This is the second in a planned seven title series named Together we can change the world. Each book will feature an endangered animal on each of the seven continents and focus on a different emotional superpower (love, courage, compassion, respect, kindness, integrity and gratitude). 

Tala the Bengal Tiger is set in India (or Bangladesh) and looks at the delicate relationship between humans and Bengal tigers. Veera (meaning courageous) is nine-years old and she loves hearing the story of the tiger that appeared suddenly the moment she was born. "It almost looked like it was there to protect you. I took that as a sign and named you Veera" says her mother. Although Veera and the rest of the villagers fear tigers, the book shows that they have also managed for many generations to live peacefully alongside them. Veera feels a strong need to protect them, especially the tiger that her mother saw on the day she was born. She calls him Tala. The story gives us a little glimpse into village life in this part of the world and some of the factors that are contributing to the endangerment of the Bengal tiger. When Veera is left alone in the jungle she comes face to face with Tala who saves her from a crocodile in the river. "Courage does not always roar. Sometimes is sounds like a gentle voice inside reminding you to face your fears". There is a page of facts about Bengal tigers in the back of the book. The story manages to touch quite a few major themes in an accessible and culturally respectful way.

Themes: Endangered Animals, Bengal Tigers, Courage.

Nicole Nelson