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If you are searching for a baby book with different textures to touch and feel then this Tickly Tiger book should be toward the top of your list. Babies like bright colours, rhythm and repetition as well as different textures to feel in their early books and all of these are provided here, in such a way that repeated readings can be completed with enthusiasm by both baby and adult alike: there is some variation and variety rather than a single sentence opener repeated again and again. The very popular 'That's not my...' series is a struggle for me as I have to work hard to keep the inflections of boredom and exasperation from my voice as I read the words "That's not my..." over and over. There are many touch and feel books available, and when perusing the cheaper shops such as The Works I noticed that many of the books there featured just one or two pages with an additional texture. I was very pleased therefore to find Tickly Tiger on the shelves of The Works for £3.99 as opposed to the recommended retail price of £7.99. So popular did it prove to be with Baby CrazyEgg and myself that we soon added 'Beep! Beep' and 'Squeaky Book' to our collection from The Works and TK Max respectively.
The ten page board book is 26cm high and 26cm wide at the widest points, these being Tickly Tiger's ear and cheek, since the whole front cover is taken up by the big, smiley, orange face of Tickly Tiger and the whole book is cut to this shape. Baby CrazyEgg has owned this book for a number of months now, and has currently reached the grand height of 71cm. In her terms this is a large book. Being a board book means that the pages have always been easy for her to turn, the indent between Tickly Tiger's ear and head providing an additional point of leverage when required. The size however, has sometimes been prohibitive: Baby CrazyEgg has to have the book on a tray or the floor in order to turn the pages herself, whereas smaller board books she can rest on her lap, or hold in two hands. Page turning here can provide her with a full workout.
The front cover shows Tickly Tiger's face. His triangular nose is made of fabric, and there is a rattle poking out at the top right of the book in Tickly Tiger's ear. This is attached to the back page, and so features on every double page spread. Thoughout the book is glossy, very brightly coloured and has different textures to feel on each page: towelling; squashy plastic; raised patterns on the page; rough patches; squashy shiny fabric; and furry fabric.
At the top of each page there is an instruction for Baby: 'Baby, tickle'; 'Baby, rattle'; 'Baby, bounce'; 'Baby, jiggle' and so on. This makes the book very interactive for you and Baby and associates words with actions as well as pictures.
The book introduces you to Tickly Tiger, who being a tiger mainly growls by way of response. (You will have to provide the growl.) He is asked what he wants, and several suggestions are then made, each aptly illustrated. Suggestions made include: an elephant, a cow, a train, a bus, a jellyfish. Your baby will become well acquainted with a range of animals and modes of transport by reading this book. You will become more practiced at making animal noises, although the elephant noise is written as "Toot" and it is tough going to try and make this sound like an elephant in my view. "Aaarrrooooowa" would be more like it.
Not only are you given animal sounds to make, the book also contains catchy rhymes. For example:
One shiny tractor.
Where are you going,
And have you been there before?
Naturally, you can use the rattle here, and make up your own tune if you want to make this into a jingle.
I won't put a spoiler in by telling you what Tickly Tiger does want, but when it's found, all is well and we can say "Goodnight, sleepy Tickly Tiger." This might make you think it is suitable for a bedtime read, but this is more of a day book for us as Baby CrazyEgg gets very excited by all the bouncing and tickling. Nevertheless, the change of pace to a sleepy situation is a good calmer.
A brilliant book. Purr!