Raj, The Bookstore Tiger, Kathleen T. Pelley
This is a perfect story for beginning readers or to be read aloud. It takes place in a perfect bookstore. Let’s hope these bookstores don’t all go the way of the dinosaur!
Raj, a beautiful, golden cat, lives in the attic with Felicity Fotheringham, the owner of the bookstore beneath their living space. He likes his life. He goes from chores to sunning himself in the glorious light of the sun in the front window of the shop. He is a happy cat but he thinks he is a TIGER!
During afternoon story time, Raj is at his happiest, greeting the children, and being equally attended to, and adored by them. To them, he is a little TIGER! Didn’t he look like one, after all?
One day, his heavenly existence is shattered by the entrance of a new cat, with a nasty disposition. Felicity has invited her manager’s cat, Snowball, to spend his days at the bookstore. He has not been getting along at home, with their other pet, a Labrador puppy dog.
Snowball is a bit of a bully. Raj, who always thought of himself as the bookstore tiger, is totally intimidated by Snowball, who heaves insults at him, and so Raj remains hidden during story hours and during the night he hides under a pillow. He no longer believes he is a tiger because of the things that Snowball said to him.
One night, Felicity reads a poem to Raj and that restores his confidence. He no longer runs from Snowball. He doesn’t follow his orders either. When a video of a real tiger is viewed at the bookstore, Snowball runs away in fear but Raj believes in himself and struts around. Snowball tries once again to tell Raj he is not a tiger but Raj, instead, tells Snowball that there are tigers in books that look like him too. Soon they both do the chores together and become friends, each one feeling as important as the other. Now they are both tigers!
The tender illustrations add to the books enjoyment. The colorful, upbeat cover, invites you in to read. I invite all children to enter the bookstore and stay awhile. You will be glad you did.