“The tiger who came to tea” by Judith Kerr is a favourite of my little gosling. I bought it based on the many reviews it received as a classic of children books. I found it quite simple and was weary it would not attract much interest. It didn’t really at first (baby was a little older than one when we got it), but it has become a daily reading now at almost two. I think it’s a great book to explore for young children, from very early on.
It’s such a simple story, an incredibly simple idea: inviting to tea a hungry tiger that happens to ring one’s doorbell (brilliant, isn’t it?) just to find that his insatiable appetite wipes out all food and drink in the house (including all the water in the tap). A moment of domestic life which teaches toddlers about politeness, kindness, generosity, family life and harmony.
My little gosling now roars when he pulls out the book and shows me the tiger. He knows about Sophie and her mummy and identifies all the goodies on their table. We say “hello” to the tiger when he comes in and “bye bye” when he leaves. He’s very intrigued at the image of the tiger drinking the tea straight from the teapot or sitting on the fridge, eating its content and knows that Sophie likes the tiger, ‘cause she’s hugging him. It is one of those books and stories that he’s interested to and has the patience to go through until the end and we explore each image in detail, repeating the words he already knows and learning new ones. But then, I’m not surprised, he’s been keen on everything related to tea-making since babyhood.