Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Raj, the Bookstore Tiger

Raj, the Bookstore Tiger

Kathleen T. Pelley
Illustrator:  Paige Keiser 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Charlesbridge, 2012   ISBN: 978-1580892315

One day Felicity Fotheringham brought a cat home to her apartment above her bookstore. The cat was such a regal looking animal with tiger like stripes that she decided to call him Raj. Raj took his bookstore tiger duties very seriously and he worked hard. In the morning, he patrolled the storerooms and sunbathed in the window. After a “face wash and a snooze” Raj would greet the customers in the shop, doing what he could to make them feel welcome. The time he liked best though was afternoon storytime. He was such a favorite with the children that they would argue “over whose lap he would share.” All in all Raj had a splendid life.

Then the new manager started to bring his cat, Snowball, to the store during the day, and Raj quickly decided that he did not like Snowball. Snowball did not think that Raj resembled a tiger at all. In fact he thought that Raj was just a “plain old marmalade kitty-cat with muddy brown splotches that some people might call stripes.” Poor Raj was deeply upset by these words, and he stopped being an active staff member in the bookstore. Instead he hid away from people, feeling miserable.

There are people (and clearly cats) who have a tendency to say things that are unkind, and it is very easy to let these unkind words hurt our feelings. In this charming picture book, the author explores how one particular cat deals with this problem.