One of the reasons I’m doing book reviews is to look at the structure of books and to learn how the authors and illustrators have used their craft.

I’m going to test the Tiger Who Came to Tea against the Vanilla Sponge theory.

Kerry Brown shared her Vanilla Sponge recipe when she facilitated a workshop for Write Links.

The simplicity of her approach appealed to me and one of the things she suggested to us was to look at other authors work in this way.

So here goes. Does the Tiger Who Came to Tea follow the recipe?

Orientation – Introduce the character and setting

Once there was a little girl called Sophie, and she was having tea with her Mummy in the kitchen.


Hmmm. So is the problem the Tiger coming to the door?

Excuse me, but I’m very hungry. Do you think I could have some tea with you?’

or that the Tiger eats too much?

But the Tiger didn’t take just one sandwich. He took all the sandwiches on the plate and swallowed them in one big mouthful.

I’ll go with the second option, that the tiger eats too much.

Attempt to solve the escalating problem three times

Try to solve the first time.

And he still looked hungry, so Sophie passed him the buns.


So Sophie’s Mummy said, ‘Would you like a drink?’ And the tiger drank all the milk in the milk jug and all the tea in the teapot.


And then he looked round the kitchen to see what else he could find.

Resolve the problem with a twist

And Sophie’s daddy said, ‘I know what we’ll do. I’ve got a very good idea. We’ll put on our coats and go to a café.’

Ending – circle back to the beginning

(Picture of stripy orange cat on street when walking out to dinner.)

And they also bought a very big tin of Tiger Food, in case the tiger should come to tea again.

So does it follow the recipe? Ish.