Cover image for The tiger of Turkestan
The tiger of Turkestan
Hogrogian, Nonny.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Charlottesville, VA : Hampton Roads Publishing Co., [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Heeding his dying grandmother's words, Little Tiger tries to be different from all the other animals by doing the opposite of what they do.

Author Notes

Illustrator and author Nonny Hogrogian was born in New York City on May 7, 1932. She received a Bachelors degree in fine arts from Hunter College in 1953 and studied woodcutting at the New School of Social Research in 1957. Since illustrating her first book in 1960, she has split her time between freelance illustration and working as a designer for the children's books at Holt, Rinehart and Winston and then Charles Scribner's Sons. She received a Caldecott medal for Always Room for One More in 1966 and One Fine Day in 1972. Her book, The Contest, was named a Caldecott Honor Book. She married poet David Kherdian in 1971 and she occasionally illustrates some of his works.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

K^-Gr. 3. Caldecott-winner Hogrogian offers a finely tuned and lovely picture book on the deepest of philosophical questions: Who am I and why am I here? Little Tiger's dying grandmother urges him either to do nothing "just hunt and eat, as other tigers do," or to do what no one else does. Little Tiger ponders this. Sometimes he walks like a kangaroo, sometimes like a donkey, and always runs backward if his friends are running forward. But as he grows, he travels to find out who he is, until, finally, he dances in the ecstasy of discovering that he is like all of them, but utterly himself. He becomes a great dancing teacher to help others "find joy in being themselves." Hogrogian's dancing tiger is a thing of great beauty, visually expressing the implosion of enlightenment in the words. The tiger's burnished gold color plays against green and blue backgrounds, and here and there a tail or a paw spills out of the frame. The simple and gentle text calls out the most elemental questions of identity in ways that the smallest children can grasp. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Do something nobody else does!" are the dying words of Little Tiger's grandmamma. Little Tiger is a particularly reflective feline in Hogrogian's (Always Room for One More; One Fine Day) most striking picture, his orange eyes peer out with poignant intensity from a scrim of emerald leaves. But at first, Little Tiger can only interpret her advice in terms of playful behavior: "If the other tigers ran forward, Little Tiger was sure to run backward. When the tigers raced to the watering hole, Little Tiger hopped all the way." As Little Tiger matures into a more imposing figure and travels the world, his understanding and sense of self deepens. "One day when Tiger's heart was full, he began to dance." Thus he discovers his calling: to be a teacher of dance to other animals, "one who helped others to find joy in being themselves." The soft-spoken earnestness of the text (the book is dedicated to the mystic G.I. Gurdjieff) may make this title more suitable to adults, and the renderings of the protagonist vary in their success at times, there's an awkward bulkiness to his physique. Still, the strength in Tiger's eyes is unmistakable, and Hogrogian's watercolors demonstrate a lovely quietude and restraint reminiscent of traditional Asian painting. Contemplatively inclined children may well appreciate Tiger's mission. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Little Tiger, born in the shadows of Mount Ararat, hears his grandmother's last words, "In this life, never do as others do!" He carefully contemplates those words and then proceeds to play differently from the other tigers. Growing up, he travels great distances pondering the meaning of life until the time comes when he dances himself into "a state of ecstasy," because he has come to the realization that his differences define him. Animals flock to him in order to learn his ways and thus he becomes "a great teacher of dancing." There are no source notes or author's explanations for this tale. The text does not proceed in any logical or thoughtful manner that would account for Tiger's transformation into Terpsichore. The gentle illustrations on white pages do little to enhance this misguided effort.-Susan Pine, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.