September 3, 2020


The Last Tiger by Petr Horáček is a cautionary tale about a fearless tiger who pays a heavy price to learn the value of freedom.

A prideful tiger lives in the jungle where he knows no other animal is as fierce as he. One day hunters arrive and all of the animals hide for fear they'll be targeted, all except the tiger who believes he's too strong and powerful to be driven from his home. But the humans prove to be stronger and more powerful than the tiger and they capture him, putting him in a small cage in a nearby city. Though the tiger has no faith he'll ever get to return home, he's wrong, and he does make it home, promising never to let his pride get in the way of his freedom ever again.

The mixed media illustrations heavily feature the use of oil pastels and collage, both of which are used to texturize the flora and fauna. Each color is additionally layered on top of another, further adding to the dimension and texture of the tiger and his various surroundings. Horáček uses color as a key means of conveying tone, with complementary blues and bright greens that surround the tiger when he's in his home and somber shades of gray when the tiger is depressed about his caged circumstances. Of course the colors come full circle, ending with the lush blues and greens of the jungle and therefore ending the tone on a high note.

The Last Tiger published last week from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

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