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Tiger of the Snows: Tenzing Norgay: The Boy Whose Dream Was Everest    by Robert Burleigh & Ed Young order for
Tiger of the Snows
by Robert Burleigh
Order:  USA  Can
Atheneum, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Who hasn't heard of Sir Edmund Hillary, the New Zealander famed for climbing Everest in 1953? But many people are still unaware of a man who deserves equal credit, Tenzing Norgay, the Nepalese Sherpa who made the climb alongside Hillary. Tiger of the Snows is Robert Burleigh's lyrical free verse tribute to this great mountain-climber, who died in 1986 (a brief Afterword summarizes his life and great achievement).

The 'song for Tenzing' starts as this 'Child of the Himalayas' is about to climb a 'Mountain so tall no bird can fly over it.' Everest is five miles high! The picture book then takes readers back to see a young Tenzing 'Tending the belled yaks' but always looking up at the great peak ... 'Could he, little Tenzing, / Dream so far and so high?'

We see Tenzing travel to 'fabled Katmandu', where he 'apprenticed himself to death and danger' as a mountaineer, and acquired the skills he would depend on later. Then, Burleigh takes us with Norgay and Hillary on that tough final ascent. Ed Young's wonderful illustrations capture the magic and immensity of the awesome mountain scenery, and portray the insignificance (in comparison) of the men who dreamed big dreams to pit themselves against it.

This inspiring picture book will challenge older kids to follow Tenzing Norgay, a 'Carver of steps to the impossible', to dream, to take on tough challenges - and to realize their dreams.

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