Tigress (Hardcover) by Nick Dowson; illustrated by Jane Chapman. Candlewick Press, 2004. ISBN: 0763623253. pp: 32. Ages: 5-10, gr: k-4
Paperback (Read & Wonder Series, June 6, 2005) Walker Books. ISBN: 1844287424



Two levels of text tell the story of a mother tiger and her two cubs in this non-fiction picture book. The poetic larger text uses simile and vivid modifiers. The smaller italic text adds facts.in a science textbook style of writing. The texts and illustrations show the many ways the tigress cares for her cubs until they are old enough to each find their own homes without her.


Each of the following can be adjusted as an individual, small group, or class activity. Whatever the size of group, first discuss the question, then let the student(s) do the activity.

  1. How can we compare two things? (alike and different). List ways the tigress cares for the cubs. Compare this list with human mothers.

  2. Why did the tigress move the young cubs? Tell about another animal that will do this by writing a story or drawing a picture

  3. What is camouflage? Explain how the tiger uses camouflage?

  4. What is simile? Find examples in the book. Do you find similes in the larger style text or the smaller italic text?

  5. What is an index? There is an index in the back of this book. Choose a word in the index and look up a page given. Do you find the word on this page?

  6. What is a timeline? Make a timeline for the cubs with four parts. Begin with newborn. In each of the other three parts the cubs are 6 months older. write their age and what they are doing for all four parts of the timeline.

  7. How can you measure the length of something? Find a place on the sidewalk or playground outside the school where you can use chalk to mark lengths.
    For the teacher: Tiger facts are from Zoobooks
    • Baby tigers look like 12-inch long striped kittens.
    • The grown tiger can be 7 feet long.
    • The tigress cannot run fast for long distances, so she creeps close to her wild pig. She can creep silently to within 20 feet of the wild pig.
    • The tigress can leap 10 yards over level ground to attack a wild pig.
  8. What are acrylic paintings? Choose the painting in the book that you think would make the best poster about saving the lives of tigers.

  9. What is a globe? Point out the countries where tigers live outside of zoos.

  10. What is extinction? Find other animals that could become extinct.

  11. What is background music? You could use a xylophone or marimba from rhythm band instruments, or an electronic keyboard to make backgroiund music. Decide what the background music would be for page 16, page 18, page 20.

About the Author


More for the teacher

Tiger facts for math. - Use these tiger facts in math problems appropriate to the level of your students. Sample problems are listed.

More Tiger facts for science lessons.

Links to other online guides for Tigress.


Tigress. Accelerated Reader: Quiz #78616 EN; Book Level 4.2; Points= 0.5