A recent 4 hour family trip turned interesting with a new book. The beloved author of The Indian in the Cupboard Lynne Reid Banks’ created a thrilling story which graced topics of social casts, love, death, animal cruelty, and human torture. We enjoyed having this story in audio form read by Jan Francis, whom I must say I found a talented story teller.
I am sure you have already asked yourself why I would allowed my children to hear such a gruesome tale. In my own defense there were times I had to bite my tongue and wait it out. Also, considering it was a children’s book which introduced my sweet brewed to the Roman Colosseum, I’d say they handled the ups and down very well. There are times I still wonder if they actually understood what was happening.
Yet the story of the two tiger brothers was not lost on them. They compared the treatment of the tigers who shared opposing lifestyles, they felt the injustice and they related to the love of a pet.
Before we left I decided that the kids would have a new experience. No screen time during the trip! I wanted them to look around, experience, and to use their minds… not to simply be entertained by a movie, or their mother’s severely off key singing (hey in my defense I do have an ear infection). They got just that!! They got to sit in the Colosseum. They got to learn about tigers. My children felt the sting of social injustice, slavery, and the exploitation of animals. The sweet kiddo’s got to examine a character who was selfish, one who was sweet and slightly naive, and yet another who was mature well beyond his years. A look at conflicting religions, wealth verses poverty, and love with sacrifice gave my children much to think about.
You can take a look at Bank’s book on Amazon here.
Would I recommend this book to others? Absolutely. I think it is a great jumping point for discussion and further education.
Would I listen/read this book again? Yes, I plan to. My children enjoyed the story, and perhaps another run through may gain us that much more to discuss.