We were swept away by Tiger Skin Rug – a magical adventure that carries its readers between cultures and continents, and has concern for conservation at its core.
Cricket-loving Lal and his little brother Dilip are from India, and they are not at all impressed with their new home in Scotland. They don’t like the weather, they’re not sure about the people, and they are convinced that their dusty new house is haunted by, of all things, a tiger skin rug.
Though Lal tries to avoid it, he’s drawn to the rug and soon becomes as convinced of its magic as Dilip, who believes that the tiger has an important message that the boys, and their new friend Jenny, must deliver.
It is a mission that will take them from small-town Scotland to central London and from Mumbai to the mountains, and the trio will need cleverness and courage, as well enchanted assistance, to solve the trail of clues and get home – wherever that may be.
This is a captivating, multi-layered debut, in which the variations (of landscape, privilege and culture) within the places the children visit are communicated as sensitively and clearly as the contrasts between them. The premise of the story may be fantastical, but everything else feels so authentic that you can almost smell it.
Though Joan Haig’s story contains a warning about the fragile situation the world’s remaining tigers, and a wider call to protect our precious ecosystems, it also felt full of hope and excitement. We loved every moment of the magic rug ride and couldn’t wait to recommend it, so our friends can join the adventure too.