The news of New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary’s death on Friday has brought that first ascent of Everest in 1953 back into the headlines, along with tributes to Hillary’s subsequent humanitarian and environmental work in Nepal.
The Sherpa Tenzing Norgay is indelibly linked with Hillary and so it is really no surprise that we reached for Robert Burleigh and Ed Young’s wonderful book Tiger of the Snows: Tenzing Norgay, The Boy Whose Dream Was Everest. An inspiring prose poem of aspiration and determination, it expresses Norgay’s love and respect for the mountains which tower over his home and how he comes to climb to the very top of Everest alongside Edmund Hillary. Ed Young’s breathtaking pastel shading draws young listeners into the mountains so that they too are trudging through the snow and seeking not to awaken the power of the metaphorical but depicted sleeping cat within.
It’s a story worth telling and this is a lovely version for young children to go to sleep on.