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How is it Thursday again already?? It’s been a good, but busy week here. Here’s my list of books I read this week:
- The Sapphire Prism Cave (A Journey Through the Space Vortex)($) by Peter M. Leschner
- Next Year in Israel($) by Sarah Bridgeton
- Tiger Hunt!($) by Christy Halsell
And the winner is….
Tiger Hunt!($) by Christy Halsell
I want to start with a disclaimer here. Christy is a personal friend of mine; we met while both living on the island of Bali. I really appreciate her heart for the Balinese people and culture as well as the initiatives she and her husband are involved in to help orphans there, including Give Bracelets($). Now that I’ve read her book, Tiger Hunt!, I also just joined the affiliate program to help sell it and any further books she writes about the Island Brothers. In my opinion, it’s that good.
The book Tiger Hunt! is set in Bali, though the name of the tropical island the two boys are on is not actually mentioned in the book. The book has a unique combination of gorgeous photos and beautifully hand-drawn illustrations. I only wish there were more pictures!
The story begins with two boys hanging out with their lizard friends. These lizards are so common in Bali and throughout Indonesia that it is almost believable that one could talk to you and tell stories as the father does in this story. (A personal story about these lizards: Just after giving birth in Indonesia to my first child, I leaned back on the delivery room table and looked up to see one of these lizards running across the wall. That’s when it hit me that I was very far from home and had just given birth to a child in a hospital in Indonesia!)
Back to our story, the father lizard tells a bedtime story to his children and to the two boys explaining why there are no more tigers in Bali. In his story, however, one tiger actually remains on the island. The boys ask where that tiger is now, and the father lizard sleepily replies that the story happened long ago so the tiger is probably long gone. Unsatisfied with this answer, the boys decide that they will find this last remaining tiger themselves. The rest of the book relates their adventure, trekking through Bali and hunting for this tiger. I won’t give away the ending but will tell you that it is a very satisfying story that leaves the reader hungry for more adventures with the Island Brothers.
What I liked about this book: This is a very engaging and unique story. I found myself very interested in what would happen as it didn’t seem obvious as do so many other children’s books. My older children (ages 6 and 8) loved it and talked about the characters and their adventure for the rest of the day. My 2 year old got a little lost in the amount of text, but she was having a rough day anyway. We’ll try it again on a day when she’s feeling a little more cooperative. I like how this book is a gentle introduction to the foods, animals, and geographical features of island life. For my kids, that’s their world so they liked it for its familiarity, but I think other children would love it for its exotic setting. I look forward to gifting this book widely, and I’m feeling very inspired to write up a few of our own adventures in island life.
What I didn’t like: I didn’t have any strong dislikes at all about this book, but I do have a few wishes. I wish there were more pictures, but I almost always feel that way. It’s the old preschool teacher in me, I think. The book has 10 pictures for 16 pages of text. They are beautiful and illustrate the story well, but I’d just like more. I also found myself wishing for more about Balinese culture and its people, but I think that will likely come in future installments of the Island Brothers’ adventures. This was a good introduction. My only other wish is to know if any of the story is true. Christy mentions that the events are entirely fictional, but I found myself wondering if this was a real legend that they had heard during their time in Bali.
All in all, this is a great story for kids everywhere! It is a wonderful introduction to a part of the world that is new and exciting for many young readers. The story is also suitable for children of any religion. While Christy is a follower of Jesus and the Balinese are Hindu, religion does not enter into this story in any way so if that is a concern for you, you need not be afraid. The book can, of course, be used to give children a broader vision for the world but that is left entirely up to the parents.
You can purchase this book in pdf format for $2.99 (US dollars) from the Island Brothers website($). I love how Christy says on the website that you can get the book for less than the cost of a Happy Meal! The pdf can easily be printed and bound to make a paper copy of the book. We also successfully read it on a computer, a Kindle, and an iPhone (though the text was very small on the iPhone screen.) If you click through to there from any of the pictures or links here, we will receive a portion of the cost of the book. Please share about this book with others and ask them to click through from here if they decide to buy. I hope you enjoy Tiger Hunt! as much as we did. We can’t wait for the next book!