Have you ever read a book that enthralled you so much you had to read it again and again? That’s how I feel about Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown. The message within the story connected incredibly well with a new exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art – Wild: Michael Nichols. We decided to read the story and explore the exhibit with our children. While we were there, we saw a camp doing the exact same thing, with the exact same book!
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Mr. Tiger Goes Wild
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild is a charming story about individuality. Featuring lovely illustrations, in mostly grey scale and orange, that cause the central character to stand out among his peers. While the detail work in the art is eye-catching, the story is what kept me reading it over and over. Mr. Tiger is tired of always being proper and conforming to his “civilized” society. Eventually, he begins to push boundaries and is asked to leave for the wilderness. He happily does so at first but he misses his friends. After awhile, he returns to his old community to see that he has put in motion some changes that allow everyone to stand out as individuals. The story also highlights the need for balance between civilization and nature, which, coincidentally, is what Michael Nichols strives for as an artist and conservationist.
Wild: Michael Nichols
Though we had already visited the Art Museum earlier in the month, we learned about the Wild exhibit and had to come back with our kids. Michael Nichols has been an artist and conservationist for over 30 years. His display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art features a wide variety of subjects and his most important pieces.
Upon entering the main atrium of the museum, visitors can see 2 photos of gigantic trees that span the height of the atrium, one in Winter and one in Summer. They set the stage for the exhibit while impressing upon the viewer just how small we are in the scope of the natural world.
Once inside the gallery the photos weren’t quite as sizable, but they were still breathtaking. The scene was set with a photograph of Michael’s set next to a famous painting of Madonna and Child. Throughout the gallery similar juxtapositions were created using the museum’s vast collection along side Michael’s work. It was truly fascinating to see how nature has inspired artists since the beginning of time. We tried to impress upon our children the beauty and importance of nature — and how we all need to cherish the natural world by becoming stewards of our planet.
Of course, we had to visit the gift shop on our way out (it’s a forced entry one so we had no choice.) The collection of animal related items was impressive. There was so much to choose from! My boys picked out a DIY toy camera kit and a pop-out animals of the world kit, while Jackie’s daughter chose Crazy about Cats by Owen Davey. Jackie talked me out of purchasing a set of tree measuring cups, but they are too cute not to share! Needless to say, the shopping at the museum store was excellent.
Wild: Michael Nichols is going on now through September 17 and is included in the general admission price of $20. Children under 12 are free, while those 13-18 are $14. We highly recommend that you explore this important exhibit with your children. Pick up an audio guide for them too (it’s free and they love to push the buttons.) Let us know what you think of the exhibit after you have been!Mr Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Published by Macmillan Children's Books on 2017-04
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Are you bored with being so proper?
Do you want to have more fun?
Mr. Tiger knows exactly how you feel. So he decides to go wild.
But does he go too far?
From Caldecott Honor artist Peter Brown comes a story that shows there's a time and place for everything...even going wild.