Kids Book Review: Raj the Bookstore Tiger

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kids_book_review_raj_bookstore_tigerRaj the Bookstore Tiger
Age 5-8
42 pages
written by Kathleen T. Pelley, illustrated by Paige Keiser

Synopsis from Charlesbridge:

Being a bookstore tiger is hard work. There’s much patrolling, and a lot of sitting in laps at story hour, and then there’s sleeping in the window display. But Raj is up to the task. He is fierce and proud—until Snowball comes along. The new cat in the bookstore informs Raj that he’s just a marmalade kitty-cat. Times get tough, then, for the bookstore tiger. But bookstore and Raj owner Felicity, with the help of poet William Blake, knows how to fix things. In turn, with a very special book, Raj is able to fix things with Snowball. Paige Keiser’s quirky, intimate illustrations invite readers to curl up and share a story—with their own tigers or a friend.


Books. Cats. Two elements that are bound to please my kids when it comes to listening to a story. But Raj the Bookstore Tiger is more than that. The story starts with a very content and happy cat,Raj, living a blissful life at the bookstore. He is a tiger, in charge of his domain. Then a new cat, Snowball, takes over. He takes Raj’s spot in the window, his role greeting customers, even his position of importance with the kids during story time. Raj doesn’t feel so special and confident, as he once did, like a child who has been bullied.

That’s exactly what Raj the Bookstore Tiger is a great example of, dealing with bullies. Like Raj, once happy and confident kids start to recede in the background, away from the things they use to enjoy doing. Through some encouragement Raj found his inner tiger once again and Snowballs comments and behaviour didn’t seem to have an impact anymore.

Raj the Bookstore Tiger is a great way to talk about feelings and behaviour. Kids can see how Raj is unhappy and not himself because of someone’s aggressive behaviour. It helps to illustrate both sides, how someone feels when being bullied as well as the behaviours your child should avoid, picking on others, name-calling. By making the characters cats, it’s non confrontational but still gets across the importance of feeling pride in yourself and mindful of how you treat others.

You can add Raj the Bookstore Tiger to your personal library by visiting your local book store or visiting Charlesbridge. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations. What are you reading with your kids?

I have to thank Donna from Charlesbridge for my review copy.

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