This week it’s been time to fill in another of those ‘children’s classics’ shaped holes on the bookcase, and as usual, I can’t for the life of me work out why we didn’t own The Tiger Who Came to Tea before.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - The Tiger Who Came to Tea

I think it must come down to that parenting hardwiring that means that if all else fails you fall back on what you knew and remember and loved about your own childhood. And if in my case that means John Masefield, Swallows and Amazons and a little illicit Enid Blyton school stories then that’s what I’ll roll out for my girls in turn.

Actually I think that might be the very proof of my case. As well as the entire Swallows and Amazons series (which would probably be my topic on Mastermind), my bookcases were full of grand swashbuckling adventures, Coral Island, King Solomon’s Mines, Treasure Island and the very wonderful Jim Davis (less well known than the others but treasured for being set in and around the village I grew up in, with a route to the smugglers’ lair on the very cliffs where my grandparents’ house stood). In short, my embryo library looked very much like that of a small boy from the 1950’s. And so it was – the books were my Dad’s; both his choices and his originals, although thinking about it we did have the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House in the Big Woods series! at least we did when you could wrestle them from Mum, who had a fondness for The Long Winter, I think she rather felt for poor Ma.

I’ve scampered off down a rabbit hole of reminiscence as usual I know, but it has made me rather curious – to what extent were your childhood books influenced by your parents’ own childhood reading, and do you think it has had an impact on the books your little ones own?

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - The Tiger Who Came to Tea

But back to a very hungry Tiger.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Kitty’s drama story group read it several weeks in a row, culminating in the fabulous tiger mask that she made (and the picture for last Friday’s {this moment}, and she and I both loved it.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - The Tiger Who Came to Tea

I love that she will sit and turn the pages, re-telling the story as she goes, of this beautiful friendly tiger who turns up and eats all the tea, all the supper, all the food in the cupboard, drinks all the water in the tap and, most importantly (and this line is always delivered with great solemnity), all of Daddy’s beer (usually accompanied by an involuntary “oh no!” from H if he happens to be in the house).

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - The Tiger Who Came to Tea

And I love the immediate friendship between Sophie and her tiger, how she sits with his tail wrapped around her shoulders like a scarf as he drains the tap, or cross legged on the floor watching him empty the fridge.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - The Tiger Who Came to Tea

It could have been a story full of drama and angst, but it’s actually, and rather surprisingly, a very peaceful read, as everything resolves itself and Mummy, Daddy and Sophie go out for sausages, chips and ice-cream for their supper, and then spend the next day shopping for more food for the family, and an enormous tin of tiger food, just in case he comes back to tea again.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - The Tiger Who Came to Tea

It’s become another favourite bedtime read.

“I love sausages” says my tiny companion, tucked up in the crook of my arm “and chips! and ice-cream!”

Me too little one, me too.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life - What we're Reading - The Tiger Who Came to Tea

 

Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading

Thank you so much to everyone who joining in last week.  If you missed it, Claire continued her series of lift the flap books with the incredibly enticing Animal Homes; Annie had a whole list of lovely finds that I just want to dive straight in to, especially Dream Boats; Kirsty (who also has her own fabulous book linky) came up with some wonderful crafty things to take your reading to a whole new level with Monkey Puzzle; Katie introduced me to Tadpole’s Promise – spoiler note, the ending is not for the deeply hormonal among us; and last but by no means least, Pippa shared the latest Zoe and Beans additions to her little ones’ library.

And if you have a favourite why not share it here; each linky will stay open for a week so there’s plenty of time to join in. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you. I’ve told you what we are reading, now tell me what we should be reading!

 



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7 Responses to The Tiger who Came to Tea {what we’re reading}

  1. Anna-Marie says:

    I have sat and giggled to myself! I love this book, I think its such a fantastic classic. I love everything about it. Moo asked for me to read it too her due to it being her teachers favourite book!

    • Carie Carie says:

      Well clearly it’s a classic for a reason! Although perhaps it’s the more impressive that in all these weeks it’s the first time we’ve chosen the same!

  2. Mammasaurus says:

    We love this book so much, it’s one of the few books with cds within that I actually have taken the story cd out to the car for long drives!

    • Carie Carie says:

      I’m not surprised, it’s one of those stories that you feel you can read or hear a good few times in quick succession quite happily so definitely perfect for car journeys.

  3. So sweet! This one just IS a timeless classic!

  4. This was the first book I bought when I was pregnant. Not because I remember it from my childhood but because a friend who had children recommended it. We love it too.