The DFF Book Club

This is a delightful, out-of-print British book with its notion of “tea” and a well-mannered English family, but it’s still widely available online.

The Tiger who came to tea

Sophie and her Mummy sat down to a “tea” of buns, sandwiches and cakes when the doorbell rang. A tiger was at the door, and he was hungry. So, of course, he’s invited in to share their food. Except he doesn’t politely take one or two buns, he eats them all up. And then the tiger’s still hungry, so he goes through their kitchen and eats everything else, including the water in the taps.

The Tiger who came to tea
It must be very British, but I find it amusing to read a children's story that acknowledges Daddy's alcoholic habit.

When there’s nothing left to eat or drink, the tiger leaves, and Sophie and her Mummy realise there’s nothing left for dinner and Sophie can’t even have a bath because all the water was drunk by the greedy tiger. But when Daddy comes home and hears what happened, he takes them out for dinner, and Sophie and her Mummy go shopping for more food the next day.

Every time I read this book, I wonder what the author’s intended message was. Is it really about a greedy tiger eating all the nice family’s food? Or is it about a Mummy who doesn’t want to cook dinner with a daughter who doesn’t want to have a bath so they concoct a story to tell Daddy?

Either way, it’s great fun to read — every time — and that’s what makes it a choice book!