The Tiger Who Would Be King

The Tiger Who Would Be King


Written by James Thurber
Illustrated by JooHee Yoon

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2015

“I’ll be king of beasts by the time the moon rises,” said the tiger. And so begins this now classic fable about the hunger for omnipotence and pointless strife.

Gorgeously illustrated and including two gatefolds that give us a panoramic jungle at war, The Tiger Who Would Be King is as entertaining as it is wise, as wry as it is passionate. Yoon's humorous images support this beautifully written text with wit and insight. Her final portrait of the tiger in a sea of silence will stay with the reader for a long, long time.

ISBN: 978-1-59270-182-7
10.5" (W) x 10.5" (H) • 40 pages • HCJ

Grade Level: 3
Interest Level: 1-up
Lexile Level: 710
Guided Reading Level: O

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A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2015
A Huffington Post Honorable Mention in "Best Dark/Mysterious" Category for 2015

★ “A cautionary tale about the futility of war by the late American humorist receives a stunning visual interpretation from Yoon […] A picture book that will be embraced due to its successful handling of difficult themes.” —STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

"The illustrations constitute a wholly serious piece of artwork, one that may remind older readers of Picasso's Guernica." —Publishers Weekly

"Newly illustrated in extravagant, inventive fashion by JooHee Yoon, its lessons seem sharply relevant today. [...] Yoon’s arresting palette adds visual depth to the drama. … ‘The Tiger Who Would Be King’ should be reserved for sophisticated children and for adults, too, who are looking for moral clarity in the face of grim news." —Nicole Lamy, The Boston Globe

“Thurber’s profound story is brought to vivid life in this new picture book version. … Yoon takes the words of Thurber and creates a picture book that is startling and incredible. She captures in expressions, the pride of declaring yourself to be a ruler, the shock of the old ruler being challenged.” —Tasha Saecker, Waking Brain Cells

"...vibrantly illustrated by Yoon in a dense, blocky print style, all in an electric red, a cool blue-green, black and white. Each page teems with evocative images of animal life. The effect is ferocious and ravishing, capturing the beastliness of war along with emotions that include pride, boredom, shock and sorrow." —The New York Times

"Ms. Yoon’s tumultuous illustrations have tremendous force..." —Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal

"…a fabulous artistic recasting of a James Thurber classic fable by original artist, JooHee Yoon. [...] From the rising sun scene in the front inside pages to he same scene at night on the back inside pages, ‘The Tiger Who Would Be King’ is splendid, terrible, arresting, curious, and a marvel to behold. Watch for all the individual animal portraits, with primitive toothy smiles, and the center foldout battle scene. ‘The Tiger Who Would Be King’ is a powerful artistic argument for peace that children of a certain age will grasp immediately." —Children’s Bookwatch


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