The Last Tiger: A Story of Hope by Becky Davies, illustrated by Jennie Poh

The Last Tiger: A Story of Hope by Becky Davies, illustrated by Jennie Poh. Tiger Tales, 2022. 9781680102727

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Format: Hardcover picture book

What did you like about the book? Aasha the tiger and other creatures are forced from their habitat because of climate change, poaching, and habitat loss inflicted by humans who are deforesting the area. She meets up with Temen the orangutan, and they leave to find a new home. Along the way they encounter the humans and their machines that are devastating their habitat, and they discover pollution and by-products of human consumption. Temen and Aasha quickly settle into a new home and live happily alongside its creatures. End matter includes an author’s note, glossary, and listing of  many animals who are extinct or endangered. The artwork is comprised of earth tones that have a watercolor effect, but were rendered digitally.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Although billed as a story of hope, this book serves as a cautionary tale, yet it falls short of what appears to be its intended goal. Understandably, the author endeavored to write a developmentally appropriate text that would introduce young children to the concepts of extinction and endangered creatures. However, the idea that two animals would be able to quickly move to another spot to avoid destruction and smoothly settle into their new home is simplistic and does a disservice to the environmental themes the book wishes to address. The end matter makes a half-hearted attempt to bring additional information to the reader, but it is not nearly comprehensive enough to do the job.

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be an acceptable text for young children exploring habitat loss, climate change, and poaching with a sensitive and non-threatening approach. It would need to be paired with additional texts to understand the full implications of this topic.

Who should buy this book? Elementary and public libraries 

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books or environmental collections

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Linda Broderick, Lincoln Street Elementary School, Northboro, MA

Date of review: April 21, 2022

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