Due in September 2019, this book, The Tale of the Tiger Slippers is classical Jan Brett with the illustrations. Every page is busy with no space left untouched. Every color in your Crayola box (and a few I am sure they never heard of) is everyplace. They pop off the page in bold, brash and rich images and strength. They assault the eyes (but not in a negative manner but can be a bit overwhelming at times). The illustrations sound as if a hundred bees and a couple of wasps are buzzing about.
There is detail upon detail upon detail upon detail with the illustrations. Little details and big details can be found in every nook and cranny. Her traditional side-bar images grace every page. The lines of the tiger’s flow, the fountains gurgle making the story come to life. Multiple viewings of the art are recommended, then a read of the book and then a reread.
Of course, when I first read the title, I pictured a couple of slippers shaped like a tiger. This, of course, is the farthest from the truth possible. Instead the tiger slippers are slippers for a tiger cub. The tale starts with a young tiger saying how he loves playing in the large house his father built, especially in the garden. Where the fountain is. And where, in a special place of honor, a pair of old, raggedy, beat up slippers sit. And the young tigers’ friends always wonder about them and that tigers’ father is happy to tell the story of.
What ensues is a retelling of the classic Middle Eastern folk tale Abu Kassem’s Slippers. The richness of culture and a story with a grand moral comes to life under the care of author/illustrator, Brett.