Nicola Bayley knows her cats. In these two picture books – one new and one reissued – it seems to be mainly the large stripey kind of cat we call a tiger, but they are still cats.
In The Tyger Voyage from 1976 we have a long poem by Richard Adams (and that’s something rare these days; real – and long – poetry) all about the neighbours, who are tygers. They go on holiday and are believed disappeared, when in actual fact they are merely having a real adventure, seeing most of the world.
Luckily they are found, and are able to return to lead ‘normal’ lives again.
Can I Come Too? with words by Brian Patten, is about a small mouse with ambition. It wants to meet the biggest creature in the world, so – rather like the tygers – it sets off to find it. En route it encounters animals larger than itself, but there is no boasting here, because they all admit to not being the biggest, and all want to accompany the mouse so that they too can see this special creature.
Amazingly none eat the others. They are simply travellers on a journey for that special treat. The tiger breaks out of the zoo, promising not to eat anyone. At the end of their long walk, they do come across the largest creature, and all are very happy.
You can be tiny, but you can still have big ambitions.
Nicola’s pictures are as beautiful as you’d expect.