"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Going Wild with Mr. Tiger

I am so excited to be writing about 
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
I love this book and want everyone to read it.
I think it deserves a shiny sticker (hint, hint).

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild is a book you should not miss.  Not only is it well-written and beautifully-illustrated, it is a book that reminds each of us to find our own path and also carries the message that going a little wild (in the right time and place) is not such a bad thing (more on this later). I am not here to review the book today (here's my review). I am here to tell you a story, a story that Mr. Tiger would appreciate. 
I have been in his shoes and I have a motto he would love: Don't Worry. Dress Happy. Here's how I came about creating my motto, it all started back in... 
Kindergarten in 1968. It was 
Professions' Day! Dress like the thing you want to be when you grow up! This was exciting stuff. I wanted to be a nurse. I needed something white (this was 1968) so I wore my slip to school, granted it was a thick white cotton slip with a cool eyelet pattern along the top and an extra bit of fabric along them hem, but it was a slipDemure for today's standards, my slip was a bit against the grain even then. Some of my classmates did not appreciate my outfit. I might have even seen disdain, had I been able to identify that emotion then.  The day was a bit awkward, but I maintained my composure and my belief that I had done the right thing.
Fast forward two years and I am now in...
Grade Two in 1970 and
I was playing around the old fountain on my street. It sat within an upward-sloping concrete circle, a perfect place for a game of tag, which is what I was doing when I touched the home base section of the very-tall, wrought- iron fence. It moved. I ran from the fence only to have it land on me and according to my mother, "split my head open." This was followed by a crazy drive to the hospital (while sitting in my mother's lap), lying on a cold metal table and feeling suffocated by the plastic sheet around my head, oh, and of course, stitches.

So here I am, in second grade, with a large chunk of hair shaved from my head, a HUGE band-aid covering the stitches, and, did I fail to mention I was wearing pajamas to school.  But...They were so cool. So. Very. Cool.  Just so you understand, pajamas were so jazzy then. Case in point:
I am a child of the 60s. Be they in your formal or informal wear -- patterns and lots of them are great, colors and lots of them are great, and styles and lots of them are great. The pajamas I wore that day had polka dots on the bottom and flowers on the top, which also had a cool bib feature - similar to overalls. I wish I had a picture for you.
Here I am at my friend's birthday party.
I am on the right. You see the influence of patterns.

My day was all going swimmingly until a classmate noticed the trap door opening in the back -- for these were one piece pajamas (think very jazzy union suit).

I stayed at school that entire day.  I was embarrassed, but I also knew that I loved those pajamas and they made me happy. I am sure I was teased, but I either ignored it or found strength in my convictions. I am not one one for relying on ceremony or style. I tend to dress the way I feel each day -- funky vintage hand-me-down-from my mom one day and classic Ann Taylor slacks and sweater the next. I wear what makes me happy. My motto?
Don't worry. Dress Happy. 
(With apologies to Bob Marley and the Wailers.)

While Mr. Tiger might have temporarily eschewed clothing, we have a lot in common.  Like Mr. Tiger, I learned that my unique style has a time and a place and, like Mr. Tiger, I learned that it is good to experiment and take risks, to follow your heart and to be true to yourself.  Peter Brown has given readers a character and a message that will stay with them long after they finish reading the book, a book that they will read again and again.

My advice to you? Pick up this book and leave no page unturned

Well, I'm off to meet up with Mr. Tiger. 
I think he's going to love this Hawaiian dress! 

That is not all! 

There's the Mr. Tiger Goes Wild! giveaway thanks to Little Brown Books!  To celebrate the release of Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, we have a blog tour scavenger hunt for you! Visit all the blogs listed below to collect 7 letters/characters. Unscramble the letters/characters to unlock the secret phrase. Each blog is giving away three copies of Mr. Tiger Goes Wild courtesy of Little, Brown Books and Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts has a Mr. Tiger Goes Wild prize pack to give away. On your mark. Get set. Go!

My secret letter is..
Here's what you need to do:
1.  Please visit these other blogs:
Jen at Teach Mentor Texts
Aly at Kid Lit Frenzy
Franki at A Year of Reading
Katherine at Read, Write, Reflect
Laura at LibLaura5
Colby at SharpRead
2.  Collect the secret letters from each blog. 
3.  Unscramble the letters to create the secret phrase. 
4.  Enter the phrase on this form, add your contact information and submit!

This survey will be open until September 9th. Winners will be drawn at random and announced on September 10th.  Good luck!


  1. You're my last stop on the scavenger hunt! What a fun blog tour! I loved reading about everyone's wildness. :-)

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the tour and our wild stories!

  2. Love the 'dressing wild'. We have all sorts of dressing wild students at our school-love the hats especially, & the house slippers! Thanks for the blog tour!

  3. Hooray! Thanks for celebrating Mr. Tiger with me! What a lot of fun. I love reading about you and your dressing habits growing up. I'm going to remember "Don't Worry, Dress Happy"! :)

  4. My last stop before unscrambling the letters:) What a fun idea--thank you!

  5. What an awesome post and game! Yes, dress happy! I agree!