Children’s Books About Tigers

2022 is the Year of the Tiger, celebrated throughout Asia.

Tigers have lived in Asia for millions of years, ranging from India, east to Indonesia and far north as Siberia. In the forest ecosystem tigers are top of the food chain. But today, due to poaching and loss of their habitats, tigers are endangered, three of the nine subspecies are now extinct.

Tigers are particularly important to the ancient traditions of India, China and Korea. In myths and stories, tigers are guardians who defend against demons, a zodiac animal, mountain spirit, king of wild animals, symbol of strength and majesty. Tigers are also portrayed as fierce, greedy and frightening, and tricked by smaller animals or clever people.


Picture Books

  • Where’s Halmoni? by Julie Kim
  • Noona and Joon, two Korean kids, visit their Halmoni (grandmother), but she’s not at home.
  • Stepping through a door into another world, the kids follow a trail of large paw prints. After bumping into a hungry rabbit and sharing their snacks, the rabbit talks too fast about a bad tempered tiger, hands them a funny back scratcher, and runs off. Noona and Joona meet more hungry giants who provide a magic door handle, but when they confront a cheating tiger, who will win the game of rock, paper scissors?
  • Little Tigers by Jo Weaver
  • In the Indian jungle, a mother tiger searches for a new home for her cubs, safe from humans. A cave behind a waterfall is too damp, sleeping on a branch in the canopy is too far to fall, tigers need to sleep on the ground, roots of an old tree is sheltered, but a python lives there. At least, the tigers discovers a dry, warm place – ruins of a crumbling temple. Stunning illustrations!
  • Tip: In tiger preserves and national parks in India there are often stone temple ruins.
  • Tiny Feet Between the Mountains by Hanna Cha
  • In a Korean village – Soe-In is a tiny but mighty girl. One day the sky has become dark and flaming, the sun is gone, Soe-In volunteers to find out why. She discovers the spirit tiger, powerful protector of the forest and mountains, but the tiger has swallowed the sun and he is burning up. Soe-In has a clever idea, to make the tiger laugh.
  • Korean Children’s Favorite Stories by Kim So-un, Jeong Kyoung-Sim
  • Read three stories about tigers, retellings of Korean folktales:
  • In “The Bad Tiger,” a rude tiger who eats an old woman’s radishes is cleverly tricked by the woman and tossed into the ocean.
  • A baby rabbit outwits a greedy hungry tiger, encouraging the tiger to eat hot rocks, trapping the tiger in a burning forest and freezing river in “The Tiger and the Rabbit.”
  • “The Grateful Tiger” is the story of a young student who saves a suffering tiger, and is rewarded with a noble rank and beautiful wife.


Chapter Books

  • Tigers at Twilight (Magic Tree House) by Mary Pope Osborne
  • The magic tree house drops Jack and Annie into the Indian jungle to look for a gift from the forest. Along the way, they swing in the trees with the langur monkeys, ride on the back of an elephant and help an injured tiger.
  • Tiger Boy by Mitali Perkins
  • In a Bengal tiger reserve on the Sunderban islands in India, a tiger cub has escaped, and a wealthy poacher seeks to capture it. Young Neel and his sister are determined to find the cub first – they know the island better than anyone. Where would a tiger cub hide?
  • Tiger (The Five Ancestors) by Jeff Stone
  • Ancient China adventures of five boys, warrior monks with exceptional kung-fu skills in the style of different animals. Each boy sets off to retrieve secret scrolls stolen from the temple. Twelve year old Fu is a master of tiger arts, he escapes into the forest, but soon runs into tiger hunters, a trapped mother tiger and her cub.


Non Fiction

  • Tigers (National Geographic Readers) by Laura Marsh
  • Kids can read for themselves about tiger habitats (hot places, snowy places), physical features of tigers (stripes for camouflage, superior eyesight, big paws with claws), fun facts (tigers are very good swimmers, can hear better than humans), tiger families, tiger conservation. (Easy reader)
  • If Tigers Disappeared by Lily Williams
  • Tigers have lived in Asia for millions of years, and are especially important to ancient traditions of India, China and Korea. But tigers are endangered due to poaching and loss of forest habitats. Learn about essential role of tigers in preserving forest ecosystems. (Picture book)
  • I Am a Tiger (Smithsonian Kids) by Jaye Garnett, Steph Lew
  • Follow a day in the life of a tiger mom and her two cubs, cleaning their fur, playing to learn to hunt, swimming to cool off, catching fish, taking a nap in the shade of a hot day in the Sumatran rain forest. Delightful finger puppet. (Board book)