Tiger-Tiger, Is It True? - Byron Katie and Hans Wilhelm
“Nobody cares, and nobody likes me. Tiger-Tiger felt anger tears welling up in his eyes. Suddenly there was a ripple in the water. It was Turtle.” – From Tiger-Tiger, Is It True?
Deceptively simple but profoundly transformative, Byron Katie’s four-questions of self-inquiry has changed thousands of lives. First presented in the book Loving What Is and in later books such as I Need Your Love: Is That True?, The Work presents a powerful method for examining distressing thoughts, asking first “Is it true?” and then working towards turning the questions around for a reality that is not only truer, but far less painful.
In her first children’s book Tiger-Tiger, Is It True?, Katie teams up with illustrator Hans Wilhelm to introduce The Work to children.
When Tiger-Tiger gets out of the “wrong” side of bed, he laments, “It’s going to be one of those days”…and he’s right. His parents argue at breakfast, he was picked last for games, and his friend Zebra decided to play with someone else.
Consumed with anger and sadness, he sits by the water crying until Turtle surfaces and asks him “What’s up?” Gently by persistently, Turtle prods Tiger-Tiger to reexamine his assumptions through the four questions; “You say that nobody cards about you and nobody likes you. Is that true? Are you sure?”, he begins, and then leads Tiger-Tiger through The Work.
By the end of the book, Tiger-Tiger realizes that when he isn’t thinking thoughts like “nobody cares” and discovers that he would be happy if he could never believe that thought again, he rejoices: “I would be a happy tiger! I would feel great! I could do anything, and nothing would bother me!” he exclaims.
Illustrated with cheerful watercolors and expressive characters, Tiger-Tiger, Is It True? is a fantastic book introducing children to The Work. My 11-year old read it and enjoyed it; we often use The Work to navigate through painful thoughts (especially me!) so this book was a great reminder that freedom and joy can be right around the corner through inquiry—a mere four questions away, in fact.