‘A Tiger Too Many’ by Antony Wootten

184p 2011 Eskdale Publishing Received as a Gift

Jill’s older brother Pete works at London Zoo as a zoo-keeper and Jill loves spending time with the animals he works with. Her favourite animals are the tigers, and she has a special bond with the oldest, Ronny.

When World War II breaks out Pete tells her that the Zoo can’t afford the medicine for the sick animals, like Ronny, and will be putting them down. Jill is distraught, and tries to plead Ronny’s case to the head of the zoo, but it is explained to her that it is just too expensive.

The head of the zoo, Dr. Barker, is sympathetic, but also has exciting news up his sleeve. He and Pete reveal to Jill that a new baby tiger, that was rejected by his mother because he was a runt, has been brought to London Zoo. Jill names the baby Ronny 2 and loves him as much as his name-sake.

 Pete is drafted to fight in the war, and a few months later he is reported as missing in action. The only thing that makes Jill happy now is Ronny 2. But when her mother sends her away to the country as an evacuee, Jill loses the young tiger too. In her temporary home, Jill is deeply unhappy. Her host family are cruel and she is treated like an unpaid servant. Missing her mother, Pete, and Ronny 2, and aware of the bombings in London, Jill desperately writes letters to try and find out what has happened to her loved ones. But when no reply comes, what can she do?

My mom had A Tiger Too Many by Antony Wootten signed by the author (yay!) when she bought it at the recently closed Thatcham Family Bookshop for my 11th birthday, and I have adored the book ever since.  At first, the amazing cover draws you in, and then the story keeps you gasping with shock, worry and delight. I fell in love with the characters and didn’t want to put the book down. The story really makes you think about the plight of the animals in captivity and the experiences of evacuees sent to unsuitable homes. Highly recommend this!


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