As the Name Day celebration approaches, a young kitten tries to deserve a noble name, by following the path of the beautiful Bengal tiger.
Called a “born storyteller” by the media, Marsha Diane Arnold is the picture book author of 21 books, with over one million books sold. Her books have garnered honors from Best First Book by a New Author to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Smithsonian Notable. Recent books include the bilingual Galápagos Girl and Lost. Found., both Junior Library Guild selections. Lost. Found. received three starred reviews and was illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner Matthew Cordell.
Growing up on the Kansas prairies, Marsha lived in Northern California most of her life. Now she lives with her husband in Florida, near the Caloosahatchee River and her family. Besides creating stories, she loves scuba diving, hiking, traveling, gardening, and climbing trees.
Where did you originally get the idea for this book?
This book came out in 1995, so it’s been awhile, but even when I was asked this during my first author visits, it gave me pause. This was my first book and I think the reason for writing it came from deep inside me. Little Four is very much like me - shy, scared, unsure of himself. I think I wrote the book as a way for me to encourage myself to move out into the world, as Little Four did, to see if I could reach my dreams.
What is your favorite thing about this book’s main character?
My favorite thing about Little Four is his willingness to go into the dangerous jungle to follow his dreams, even though he is quite frightened.
What would you say is the primary message of this book?
Follow your dreams, even if others make fun of you and discourage you.
When was your favorite time reading this book aloud? Why?
HEART OF A TIGER is probably my longest and most sophisticated picture book. Yet, I’ve read it to classes from kindergarteners to high school and they all seem mesmerized by Little Four and his journey. I am so grateful to see that the students love my book.