Heart of the Tiger

by Glenda Millard illustrated by Gaye Chapman (Scholastic Press Australia 2004)

peace with ourselves-peace with the environment

recommended but unavailable - maybe a copy in your local library


Imagine a time when there were no trees. Imagine a world different to the world we know now, a world without green grass, blue skies and clouds. The story invites us to imagine this time and to think about what we might miss if we lived in this time. Global warming issues are sensitively addressed in this pertinent story. It is one for all ages to enjoy and share together and it contains many peace-building elements:

  • happy endings

  • everyone winning

  •     nonviolent resolution

  • imaginative and creative

  •     challenges existing stereotyping

  • faith and hope

  • peace with the environment

  • finding personal peace

  •     ..and element that supports the idea that peace is possible

A small boy learned some special secrets about a time long past. The tiger's heart held the secret to this time. The tiger spoke about the time when he was a tree.

"What were the trees used for?" asked the boy.

The tiger responded sharing stories about a wonderful place where there was water and clouds and there was green, a colour of which the boy knew nothing. The story is one of hope....

.......there is a scent of new beginnings.

So how does the story end???

......happily with the boy knowing green.

There are many other essential peace-building elements inherent in this beautiful story.

It teaches the importance of caring for and treasuring our beautiful natural world.

Critical questions to explore with children

  • Describe the land like where they boy lived?
  • What was the tiger made from?
  • What did the old man and the tiger remember?
  • What was happening to the tiger?
  • Did the boy care that the tiger had become shabby?
  • To know green what did the boy have to give up?
  • What were in the scent of the new beginnings?
  • Does the story have a happy win-win ending?

Creative questions to explore with children

  • Do you think one day there might be a time when there are no more trees?
  • Would you like to live in this time?
  • What do we do that might create a time in which there are no more trees?
  • How can we ensure there will always be trees?
  • Why are trees important to humans?
  • Tigers are an endangered species. Why do tigers also need trees?
  • What other animals require forest habitats to survive?
  • How else could the story have ended with win-win?

Teaching and Learning for Peace Foundation October 2005

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