When a Tiger Comes to Dinner is a weak story. The all-knowing narrator Jessica Olien has created has broken the fourth wall and the story/reader relationship has bled together. And this makes the narrator come across as condescending and, in the end, a know-not-a lot narrator.
But it is the fun and hidden details in the illustrations that made the book. The mouse has neat things like silly book names/covers and photographs around the rooms. There are puns and just neat things to look at. Kids will get a kick out of the bright colors and the cartoonish elements of the drawings. The ending has a slight twist, but not necessarily unseen by the adult reader. However, most children will most likely not see it coming. You can make this an interactive book by asking your child if he or she can think of things the tiger would like to do once she comes to dinner. And you can guess how the tiger will react to the preparations of our mouse friend.
The fact that this is in a full-size hardcover picture book is also a drawback. Due to the simple text and story an oversized lap board book would probably be the best format to present it. Except for her book Right Now, the covers of the other books she has done have her seemingly be a more humorous writer than a serious one, and this book falls into that category as well. The art also helps keeps the idea of humor alive throughout her books. She has a signature style that comes across in all her books.