Review: Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily Tetri
Tiger vs. Nightmare
By Emily Tetri
First Second (Macmillan)
Out November 6, 2018
When I was a kid I didn’t like sleeping with the closet door open in my room. I’d see shadows in there and they would scare me and, well, there’s a good chance something like this happened to you too. Monsters in the night is a common childhood fear. It’s no surprise then that the idea has become the trope-iest of pop culture tropes. But that doesn’t mean monsters in the night can’t continue to be explored – just that if it’s done poorly, it’s more likely to elicit distain than indifference (*Sigh* “ANOTHER mediocre monster book?!”). Because of this, books that can tackle tropes and come out feeling fresh provide an extra jolt of electricity – the feeling of expectations exceeded. That’s exactly what Emily Tetri has done with her graphic novel for young readers, Tiger vs. Nightmare.
Tiger has a monster under her bed. But it’s not what you think – this monster is a pal. Tiger and her monster play games, Instead of tormenter, monster is a protector. After Tiger closes her eyes and nightmares begin to creep closer, monster fends them off. But one night, the nightmare is too strong, and Tiger is forced to face her fears without the help of her faithful protector.
The pencil and watercolor illustrations are loose and expressive with a touch of haze that lends itself to the surreal quality of the story. This nebulousness is effective for both vibrant, golden-tinged day scenes and shadowy bedroom-at-night explorations of fear.
A book that feels like a breath of fresh air, Tiger vs. Nightmare will make an excellent addition to your graphic novel shelf.
Review copy from the publisher.
Filed under: Reviews
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
SLJ Blog Network