Mr. Tiger Goes Wild: A Charming Modern-Day Fable about Authenticity and Acceptance
Exorcising our repressed selves’ longing for freedom through lovely vintage-inspired illustrations.
By Maria Popova
Lovers of exceptional picture-books will be instantly enamored with Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (public library) by Caldecott Honor artist Peter Brown — a charming modern-day fable about authenticity, daring to be different, and the often challenging quest for acceptance. Witty, wise, and full of Brown’s vibrant, vintage-inspired illustrations reminiscent of Charley Harper and The Provensens, it tells the story of a very proper Mr. Tiger who finds himself suffocated by social mores and, one fine day, decides to go wild. To craft the book’s distinctive, expressive sensibility, which bears a certain kinship to D. B. Johnson’s recently admired children’s adaptation of Thoreau’s philosophy, Brown blends watercolor, ink, pencil, and digital with a masterful sensitivity to color and texture.
On his Facebook page, Brown shares this lovely page of his sketchbook — a fine addition to the private sketchbooks of celebrated artists and designers — showing the very first Mr. Tiger drawing he made when he first began working on the book, followed by some character development sketches:
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild is just as delightful as it appears to be. It comes on the heels of Brown’s 2012 collaboration with author Aaron Reynolds, Creepy Carrots.
Published September 3, 2013