by Edwin Kim, Mayara Nogueira (Illustrator)
Tae watches a popular band perform and witnesses the exciting energy of the crowd. It’s now his turn on stage, and the audience becomes dead silent. To his surprise, they make fun of Tae, and he runs away in sadness. He always felt different, but never expected to feel so rejected. While alone, Tae hears a voice. He follows the voice and finds Ruby, the robin. Ruby tells Tae about Tiger Town – a place where everyone looks just like him. Immediately, he decides he must travel there. Will he make it to Tiger Town? Will he feel truly accepted?
I really enjoyed this story of belonging. Tae first performs at Horse City’s Greatest Talent Show and it doesn’t go well for him. They just don’t accept him and even laugh at him. So, Tae leaves and ends up finding Ruby Robin who tells Tae all about Tiger Town. They head out but end up in Elephant Empire where they both play together. The Elephants do not like their music either and even boo at them. After the show, Elliot the elephant tells them their music is just what he’s been looking for. Next, they enter Kangaroo Kingdom. At the Karaoke Carnival the 3 don’t fare too well. The kangaroos laugh at them. But they get to meet Kendall the kangaroo. Who says she wishes she had a crew like theirs. They finally make it to Tiger Town but everything is not as Tae hoped. He realizes that his new found friends are what he’s been looking for the whole time. And then they all create this music club called A PLACE TO BELONG. Where people just like them can come and feel welcome. This was such a well written story with great illustrations. My son liked the elephants moshing the best. This is definitely one of the better childrens books I have read in awhile.
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