We love a picture book featuring a tiger, so when we spotted Gracie Grabbit and the Tiger at the library we knew it would be perfect for us. It is written and illustrated by Helen Stephens, one of our favourite picture book makers too and published by Alison Green Books.
Gracie Grabbit is the daughter of Bobby Grabbit, a robber. Gracie isn’t keen on her dad’s line of work and tells him so, Bobby though just laughs it off. One day they head out to the zoo and Gracie warns her dad not to go pinching things or she will get the zookeeper to set the tigers on him. Bobby just laughs of course and continues to steal from animals, a baby and even the zookeeper.
When Gracie finds out what he’s been up to she tries to put things right by returning the stolen items although it doesn’t quite go to plan with the tiger seizing an opportunity to teach Bobby a lesson. Gracie and the Tiger quickly develop a wonderful friendship, much like Iris and her Lion in the How to Hide a Lion series, as they sort out all the mix ups in the zoo.
With Gracie getting things so muddled there are lots of opportunities for talk where the reader can stop and ask little ones to point out what has gone wrong. This can then be extended to encourage them to make predictions about what might happen.
Helen Stephens illustrations are delightful as ever, full of warmth, bold colours and plenty of fun. We love the comic way Bobby sneaks away with his bag of swag over his shoulder complete with the tell-tale robber outfit of a stripy jumper and black mask. A gorgeous picture book, funny and effortlessly charming.
You can find out more about Helen Stephens on her website here which has colouring sheets and lesson plans to download as well as lots of other lovely things. Helen can also be found on Twitter @stephens_helen and instagram @helenstephenslion.
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