The little tiger with the big temper: A story of mindfulness, meditation and conscious communication

Review by Faith McGregor, parent.

Je Taime Hayr. (2021). Sassy Mama Press.

This is a beautiful simple rhyming tale about Tootles, the little tiger cub who has woken up in a very grumpy mood. Tiger describes his grumpy feelings in a way young children can easily identify with – kicking, crying, huffing, stamping and stomping till he runs out of puff and is left feeling rather sad.

The story then introduces us to Tiger's friend Pippin, who teaches us 3 mindfulness tools to help with Tiger's bad mood. The first tool is ‘Conscious Communication’. Pippin starts by acknowledging Tiger's mood, validating that it is OK to have grumpy feelings and reminding Tiger that they will pass. Pippin reminds us as adults that rather than rush in and fix the grumps, we need to help our children understand what is causing the emotion.

Next, we learn the ‘Mindful Pause’. Gibbon asks Tiger to describe his feelings. ”My head feels stormy, my chest has a growl,” he says. This provides a great opportunity to discuss with children about the physical changes happening in their bodies when they feel upset. There are side notes in the book to help parents explain the STOP technique.

Finally, Gibbon and Tiger move on to the third mindfulness tool, ‘Belly Breathing’. This is a simple four count in and out breath that you can do alongside your child. The story ends with Tiger apologising to his family and being reassured by his mum that he is still loved, even when he is grumpy.

The great thing about this book is it's an enjoyable story that you can read at any time. This means you can share it with your children while they are calm and help them to learn the tools so it becomes easier when they are grumpy to use prompts like "What would little Tiger do?".

The 3 mindfulness techniques presented in this book are really simple and effective and easy for young minds to understand. My 6 year old read this book to himself and actually introduced me to what little Tiger would do, as he self-regulated his own grumps with some mindful breathing.  A great book for anyone who might have young children with big emotions

The Mental Health Foundation’s Information Service brings you reviews this Pink Shirt Day on books with bullying prevention themes.

More book reviews
Little tiger with the big temper cover
Download PDF

“Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora – Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying!”