Cubs in the Tub


Thoughts on the Story: One of my favorites on this year's Chickadee list! There is so much to love here. Our central character, Helen Matini is a hero we can look-up to. A hero that did something that didn't immediately effect masses of people, but a hero that worked quietly to make a difference to the lives of baby animals. And though her work seemed centrally located to her place in the world, we know that each woman in history that stepped outside her expected role in society helped change the lives of those that followed. So the book can go broad in discussion with older readers, or stay focused on an adorable and heartwarming story about Helen's love of her foster babies.

Illustration Style: This artwork is described as being created with “TK”. I have looked online, asked an art teacher, and still can’t figure out what that means exactly. The illustrations look like they are made with pencil, watercolor, and perhaps some digital altering. The illustrations transport you to the time period through the clothing styles and patterns used. The colors are soft, giving the the story a gentle feel. Realistic with a touch of whimsy.

Author Website:

Illustrator Website:

Book Trailer:

Publisher Activities:

Educator's Guide!


Paint a tiger: tutorial for kids

Draw a tiger face: step-by-step:


Meet the illustrator and listen to the story:

Listen to the illustrator discuss her career in kid lit illustration:

Meet author Candace Fleming:

Outdoor Activities:

Animal Parks & Zoos in Maine

Food Connections:

Make tiger brownies. Yum!

Literature Connections Base on: Theme, topic, characters, setting, curriculum connections

Related Fiction Titles:

The Wolf Keepers by Elise Broach

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick

The View at the Zoo by Kathleen Bostrom

Related Nonfiction Titles:

When Sue Found Sue: Sue Hendrickson Discovers Her T. Rex by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Diana Sudyka

Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson INSIPIRED the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson

The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins, illustrated by Jill McElmurry

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeannette Winter

Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist by Christine Evans, illustrated by Yasmin Imamura

Shark Lady by Jess Keating, illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns

Joan Proctor, Dragon Doctor: The woman who loved reptiles by Partricia Valdez, illustrated by Felicita Sala

Tigress by Nick Dowson, illustrated by Jane Chapman

Related Poetry Titles:

The Beauty of the Beast: Poems from the animal kingdom selected by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Meilo So

Book of Animal Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis

Mammalabilia by Douglas Florian

Other Books by the Author:

Amelia Lost

Ben Franklin’s Almanac

Clever Jack

Emma’s Circus

Giant Squid

Presenting Buffalo Bill

Papa’s Mechanical Fish

Seven Hungry Babies

Smile, Lily

and many more.

Other Books by the Illustrator:

Baby Moses in a Basket

Hello Moon

Lotus and Feather

Spooky Friends

Tessa Takes Wing

First Mothers

The Firekeeper’s Son

A Ride on the Red Mare’s Back

No Hugs Till Saturday

and many more.

Thanks for stopping by!


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