Tiger Heart by Penny Chrimes
|Tiger Heart by Penny Chrimes|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Delicious, imaginative adventure about an orphaned chimney sweep with a big destiny. Lovely use of language, a fab reluctant heroine as central character, and a tiger to die for.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 240||Date: January 2020|
|External links: Author's website|
Fly never meant to end up in the cage with a man-eating tiger. She just saw her chance to skedaddle, and she took it. And even when the cloud of soot cleared and she saw the golden eyes of a killer staring into hers, she still didn't turn round and climb back up the chimney straightaway. 'Cos there was worse waiting for her back on the roof.
What an opener! And there's plenty more to come! Fly is a London chimney sweep and a foundling and her life is pretty miserable - which is why she has decided to escape Black Bill. She wasn't prepared for the tiger, however. But Fly figures that pretty much anything - including a fearsome tiger - is better than the servitude and beatings she endures working for Bill and she's got more front than a department store. So she squares up to the tiger, the tiger steps forwards, opens its mouth...
... and licks her! Then bows and calls her Your Majesty. This is... unexpected. But never one to miss an opportunity, Fly agrees to free the tiger. She'll worry about this princess business later. The ensuing adventure sees Fly and the tiger free a menagerie, escape a kidnap, sail across the sea to a land of jungle and cloud-topped mountains - all while avoiding the influence of a hypnotic ruby. And it's just fabulous.
The opening scene is so captivating that I defy any reader - adult reviewer or middle grader alike - not to read on. Fly is a wonderful central character: fierce, loving, loyal and with an unparalleled sense of mischief. She talks in a slang all her own and it's full of vivid imagery and hilarious words that you want to steal and use yourself. There's courage and adventure, loyalty and betrayal, and a good dose of magic. And the supporting cast adds to the appeal - a nasty, slimy villain; a band of loyal (and alliterative) pickpockets in Spud, Sparrow and Stick; a maid who cannot say words but whose actions speak louder than a dictionary; and, of course, the tiger: mysterious, terrifying, magical.
I loved, loved, loved this adventure story. It has an irresistible lightness of touch and is an absolute pleasure to read.
If tigers are your thing, you might also enjoy Mr Tiger, Betsy and the Blue Moon by Sally Gardner a gorgeous fable with a big imagination and a glorious love of language. And lots and lots and lots of ice cream!
You can read more book reviews or buy Tiger Heart by Penny Chrimes at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Tiger Heart by Penny Chrimes at Amazon.com.
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