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The Tiger that Came to Tea - can someone explain this book to me please?

(59 Posts)
gaelicsheep Sat 26-Feb-11 23:36:34

I am ashamed to say that I do not understand this book. Is there a point to it, or is it as random as it seems?

And are there any children's books that you just don't "get"?

Tommy Sat 26-Feb-11 23:38:13

what do you mean?! It is a story - a children's story about a tiger that came to tea and ate all the food.
Why should there be a point to it?!

nancydrewfoundaclue Sat 26-Feb-11 23:38:51

I love that book - as a five year old I coveted Sophie's tights.

25+ years later my DD does [gin]

<<but I suspect there is more to it than tights>>

pippibluestocking Sat 26-Feb-11 23:40:08

There's no deep underlying meaning, just a quirky little tale with fantastic throwbacks to a 1970's childhood!

reddaisy Sat 26-Feb-11 23:40:28

My DD loves that book at the moment! I have never thought it is about anything other than a tiger coming for tea.

Tommy Sat 26-Feb-11 23:42:44

oh - and if you get the chance to see the stage production, go by all means - it's brilliant smile

LakeFlyPie Sat 26-Feb-11 23:44:59

According to this review, Emily Maitlis has a theory that this book is an allegory about sex grin

HouseGirlfriend Sat 26-Feb-11 23:45:19

OMG this brings back the best childhood memories - loved that book!

doozle Sat 26-Feb-11 23:45:27

There was a thread here recently about this book - saying there are a lot of war-time analogies in it, rationing etc.

I never saw it myself - just thought it was a simple tale.

PaisleyLeaf Sat 26-Feb-11 23:48:32

There are several long (and v. funny) threads on here with lots of different views of the symbolism of the Tiger Who Came To Tea.

You should have a look.

gaelicsheep Sat 26-Feb-11 23:48:41

Hmm. OK. I was wondering because of the ginger cat in the illustration when they go out to tea. I wondered if I was missing something.

bullet234 Sun 27-Feb-11 00:00:38

I've never read this book, think I will have to see if I can persuade the lads to choose it in the library.
I am perplexed at another children's book, though called "In a Minute". The story is that a little girl called Molly is told her mum will be up to say goodnight and read her a story "in a minute", which is actually more like 7 minutes or so. During that time Molly thinks she's doing all sorts of nice things, like cleaning the bathroom and making a cake, but in reality is creating an absolute mess, according to later pictures. However, when her mum goes upstairs she just says "goodnight" as Molly is now upstairs. So I am unsure as to whether her mum hasn't noticed the mess, her mum doesn't care about the mess or whether the whole thing is is Molly's imagination.

wearymum200 Mon 28-Feb-11 23:06:04

I have a theory (and I'm prob not alone, nor original), that TWCTT is about a mother who just loses it one day and cannot be bothered to cook and she and Sophie imagine/ collude on a story which gets her off the hook. Hence the ginger cat, which gives them the idea in the 1st place....
Maybe not. But if you've read Judith Kerr's autobiographies, her mogther was pretty odd!

gaelicsheep Mon 28-Feb-11 23:11:28

I was thinking along the same lines actually. It makes even more sense seeing you write it down.

Northernlurker Mon 28-Feb-11 23:14:41

Judith Kerr has also been quoted as saying 'sometimes a tiger is just a tiger' - so that basis it's a random story about a time when a hungry tiger came to tea.

GypsyMoth Mon 28-Feb-11 23:18:50

I never really think this deeply about childrens books! TWCTT is a face here just now.......as is 'stickman'......

monkey9237 Mon 28-Feb-11 23:24:21

I LOVE TTWCTT! loved it as a child and now my DS loves it too. I think its really just about a friendly tiger who turns up and eats everything. Or maybe it IS about a mum who couldnt be arsed to cook one night and fancies sausages, chips and ice cream at the local cafe!

Now, one book I REALLY don't get is 'Goodnight Moon' which, apart from the going-to-sleep thing, I just do not get!

TheCrackFox Mon 28-Feb-11 23:25:53

It is one big drugs trip.

Himalaya Mon 28-Feb-11 23:30:34

Yes I loved her tights too grin

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 28-Feb-11 23:34:13

It is such a fab book, I loved it as a child and DS loves it now too.

Since re-reading it as an adult with DS, I have wondered whether the ginger cat is supposed to be the jumping off point for the little girl's imagination, but it doesn't explain why she is going out for tea in her nightie!

I think it is just a brilliant story grin

spidookly Mon 28-Feb-11 23:37:49

It's a totally rubbish story, which is a common feature of a lot of children books.

The thinking seems to go

"oh, I have a crap, half-baked idea for but I can't be bothered turning it into a real story...

I know! I'll write a children's book and hope the youth of the audience and the pictures will cover the paucity of anything interesting happening."

It's basically just - take boring ordinary evening, insert tiger.

If it had been written more recently there'd be a whole series of them - The TIger Who Came For Breakfast, The Tiger Who Went to Mass, The Tiger Who Came to Playgroup, The Tiger Who Went to the Park.

All about totally boring shit where a tiger showed up and nothing of any note happened.

DD1 did love this book for a while though when she was 1.5. Now I'd like to say that's all that matters, but actually screw her, I was the one who actually had to READ it. Over and over and over again.

Stupid Daddy with his keys and his fancy cafe pretensions.

Mssoul Mon 28-Feb-11 23:38:17

Love the bit where they go to the cafe - I do this myself when I'm having a shitty day. My kids eat everything put in front of them in Morrisons for some weird reason grin

It is a pretty sexist book, but reflects the times. I usually chat about the fact Daddy's sometimes stay at home and Mummys drink beer etc etc

gaelicsheep Mon 28-Feb-11 23:38:34

Now you see, I don't like the book that much if I take it at face value. Not least because I don't like the style of the prose and the constant use of "And". (Yes, yes, I know).

But if it has another "level" I might find it more interesting. I kind of think why would the ginger cat be there in the picture if there wasn't some significance to it?

Mssoul Mon 28-Feb-11 23:39:40

What's wrong with the cafe - have I led a sheltered life thinking the cafe is ace?

spidookly Mon 28-Feb-11 23:45:57

And don't get me started on that goddamn caterpillar.

Stories about animals eating lots of food should be banned.

They're probably to blame for childhood obesity.

No wonder we're all fat if we're eating all the packets and tins from the cupboard. And drinking all Daddy's beer.

Of course, really it's the story of a pissed off housewife who decides to blow off her food making, housework and shopping duties for the day. Instead she drinks all her husband's beer. When he comes home and finds her shitfaced, she and her daughter tell him a tiger is responsible for the carnage. Since he is unable to make so much a cup of coffee, he has no choice but to take his drunken wife and nightie-clad daughter to a cafe.

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