Tiger and Turtle :: 2010


Years ago now, I was sitting in front of my brand new computer, its screen pulsing with life, its memory cards bulked up with the newest programs, and thought, With all this power at my fingertips, what shall I write?

I began typing and a Persian-esque, almost Kipling-like story about a tiger and a turtle and an argument over a flower took hold of my imagination.

I don't know what triggered the sudden flow of words—the events in Iraq and Afghanistan that were spinning out of control? The arguments my brother and I had as kids? The realization that enmity and friendship both grow from the tiniest of seeds? Whatever the cause, I liked the story. I made illustrations and, with my gleaming computer, printed out a few copies for my friends. The pages looked like this:

Then I turned my attention to more important stories. More important? Maybe, but the troubles in Iraq and Afghanistan wouldn't go away. Neither would my story about Tiger and Turtle; so I spruced it up and sent it out for publication, hoping, like my imaginary letter writer in the preface, that within its ribbon of words lay "a bit of wisdom."

Then on a whim, I hid within one of the designs a few Persian words of my own awkward making —

Anger can grow from a tiny seed;

is it not the same with the seed of friendship?

است خُرد تخم خشم که می کاری

نه همان است حَبّ یاری




Conflict & Resolution

Animal fables


For how I structured the book, click here.

publisher: Roaring Brook Press

editor: Neal Porter

art director: Jennifer Browne