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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Anshumani Ruddra
Age Range: 6-8
High up in the Himalayas, a small Buddhist temple in Tibet has a very unusual visitor, a beautiful Royal Bengal tiger named Dorje. During the two years he has been at the monastery the monks have observed that the stripes on his coat have slowly disappeared one by one and now there are none left.
One evening, the youngest monk Cheekoo notices that one stripe has appeared again on Dorje’s coat and the monks want to find out why this has happened. Master Wu tells them of the story he gleans when he enters Dorje’s dreams and discovers how he lost each stripe, one for every tiger that has died. In order to find safety Dorje has travelled hundreds of miles from Bengal to the remote temple in the Himalayas. Now it seems that there is a new female tiger in the wilderness so perhaps soon all the stripes on Dorje’s coat will return.
This moving story by Indian author Anshumani Ruddra is narrated through the voices of the monks and is inspired by the tragic loss of tigers in India. The idea was conceived by the creative team at Karadi Tales in response to the plight of the Royal Bengal Tiger, of which there are less than 1,500 left in the wild. The monks’ tone is one of respect for this magnificent creature as they speak gently about the horrors of its destruction by mankind.
The rich illustrations by Korean illustrators, Gwangjo and Jung-a Park glow with bright colours that capture the coat of Dorje and the world of the monastery. Dorje’s story begins as one of utter despair but by the end there is a faint glimmer of hope that his species may survive. This is an ideal book to use to introduce children to the plight of endangered species in the world.