Page 45 Review by Jodie Paterson
"The grown-ups think you're just in my imagination."
"Do you really think we'd get to hang out and play every night if they knew I was real?"
"Hmm, yeah. Good point."
Monster is very wise.
Monster lives under Tiger's bed, a not untypical place for monsters to reside. But this particular monster is a little different. For this monster is a fierce fighter against one of the most frightening things of all: nightmares. Monster is Tiger's best friend.
Monster also loves curry.
Monster is one half of a perfect friendship, the other half, of course, being Tiger: a charming kid who is a lover of board games and the owner of a particularly active imagination, and that is what makes their friendship so special. You see, Monster was meant to scare Tiger when she was a baby, but thought it all very unsportsmanlike to scare such a tiny cub, so decided to be her friend instead.
Monsters have got to scare something, though, so Monster assumes the role of valiant night-time protector, scaring away Tiger's nightmares so she has a lovely, peaceful sleep every night without fail. In return for fending off the frighteners, Tiger feeds Monster delicious homemade food. This arrangement continues swimmingly until one evening a nightmare so big and so scary appears that even Monster bottles it! Monster scurries away terrified to hide under Tiger's bed, all sad and remorseful at being unable to keep her friend safe that evening. The next day, after a motivational chat, the two find themselves joining forces to take on the nightmare together. It's time for Tiger to learn to be brave and to stand up to her fears!
A story of friendship, kindness, and team work, what's not to love?! Tiger and Monster are two very loveable (and cute!) characters, full of happiness and bursting with personality. Emily's expressions on Tiger are absolutely perfect and often had me grinning from ear to ear, especially at moments of particular determination from Tiger. She has also infused the two characters' personalities with wonderful little details, such as Tiger's tail poofing up like a domesticated house cat when she gets scared, or Monster stretching and limbering up before a long night of frightening. The nightmares themselves are delightfully dark and creepy, with the biggest nightmare being the spookiest of all, of course, and are perfectly designed to be just scary enough to give your little ones a buzz without being so overwhelmingly spooky a trip under the covers is needed!
As for the artwork itself, Emily has flooded the pages with lush, rich watercolour, with additional little details in crayon. It has real honesty, and I would hope upon seeing this that wide-eyed children will be inspired to crack out the paints and crayons themselves to imagine what their monster BFF would look like.
Tiger Vs Nightmare is a great rationalisation of what nightmares actually are and how they are really nothing to be afraid of. It's a wonderful advocating of bravery and friendship, plus a fantastic example of how through complete determination you can take charge of your own destiny!