Tiger Skin Rug Cover by Joan Haig - Stoomio review
Published: February 6th 2020
An old promise. A mysterious tiger. A magical adventure. Lal and his brother Dilip miss home. They don’t like drizzle, midges, or the tiger skin rug in their creepy new house. All they want is to leave Scotland and go back to India. But that’s before they make friends with Jenny, and before the tiger comes back to life... The tiger tells them it will take them home in return for their help: it cannot…

Tiger Skin Rug is a magical debut by Joan Haig full of adventure, fantasy, friendship and the true meaning of home.

Tiger Skin Rug begins in a somewhat rainy Scotland. (It actually reminds me of where I live in the North East of England which which enjoys close ties to Scotland. But make no mistake, Scotland is a stunning country full of welcoming people, and it even comes with its own mythical beast!)

Anyway we meet brothers Lal and Dilip who have just moved to Scotland, which feels like a million miles away from their native India. They’re not sure about their new house, especially the drawing room with an old smell and creepy Tiger Skin Rug on the floor. It doesn’t feel like home and they want to go back.

But strange things begin to occur and the before Lal and Dilip know it they are in the midst of what is set to be an adventure of epic proportions. The Tiger Skin Rug is weird, it makes Lal feel uncomfortable, they must find out where it came from… and what it wants!

Along the way Lal and Dilip make some new and unexpected friends, not least of all neighbour Jenny, a curly haired whirlwind of brash chat and unmatched tree climbing skills. Together they begin their journey into the mystery of the Tiger Skin Rug which takes them across the skies to London and India.

Author Joan Haig does an AMAZING job of describing the gorgeous scenery throughout the book. There is such vivid detail it was almost as if I was in the wonderful greenery of Scotland and the slums and beautiful landscapes of India. It really is a roller-coaster for your imagination.

If you weren’t aware of what life was like in India for some, this book will certainly open your eyes. You get a glimpse into what poverty and the social divide looks like, the hardships faced – particularly by children and the vast wealth held by others. I mean check out this quote…

There was a battle going on here. The magic of the forest versus the outside world. Those who wanted to save this beautiful place from destruction, and those who only cared about how its riches might make them richer.

Joan Haig – Tiger Skin Rug

The protection and love for animals clearly means a lot to the author and although not the main story, runs along side it. It will certainly make you more aware of the unfortunate position some of our ‘so-called’ fellow humans put animals in.

Lal, Dilip and Jenny have many clues to solve and enemies to evade they end learning so much about themselves on their adventures. In particular Lal. He is the oldest after all and takes on the role of leader, perhaps unwillingly and he certainly questions it later on. But they can’t rely on the grownups now, they were on their own.

Parents are funny beings. They teach you to think for yourself then tell you what to do.

Joan Haig – Tiger Skin Rug

The weight of their mission falls heavy on his shoulders but with the help of a fearless and confident Jenny and his calm and considered brother Dilip they can do it. He shows and shares his vulnerabilities without seeming weak. Lal also notices the qualities in others like his brother Dilip for example (one of my favourite quotes from the book)

Dilip had saved us in the alley, and now, in the backstreets of Mumbai, Dilip was making friends instead of fighting.

Joan Haig – Tiger Skin Rug

There are many things woven into the fabric of this amazing book, one of the main themes is a sense of home. They way Joan describes what home is is superb and will certainly make you appreciate those around you.

And if I may, without any spoilers, the ending of Tiger Skin Rug is definitely how you end a book! Such a pleasing and satisfying way to end a stunning book it genuinely left a smile on my face and hairs on my arms pointing up towards the sky. An unreal book aimed at ages 8-12 but one I will most definitely be recommending to everyone! One of my favourite books I’ve read so far this year without doubt.

Get your copy of Tiger Skin Rug…


Tiger Skin Rug on AmazonCranachan Publishing


About the Author Joan Haig

Author Joan Haig

Joan Haig, born in Zambia, was weaned on avocados and stories. When she was twelve, her family moved to the happy isles of Vanuatu in the South West Pacific. She has lived and traveled all over the world, most recently settling with her husband, children and cats into a little cottage in the Scottish Borders.

Joan has researched and taught at the University of Warwick and University of Edinburgh; her teaching has won awards and her work on migration and belonging has been published in academic journals and edited volumes. She now works for Arcadia University’s Edinburgh Center.

Her writing dream is that her stories for children are enjoyed far and wide -and touch some grown-up hearts along the way.

Joan was also kind enough to take part in a Q&A right here on the Stoomio blog so if you’d like to delve deeper into the inner workings of author Joan Haig then read our enlightening interview.

Have you read Tiger Skin Rug yet? If you have, share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Tiger Skin Rug by Joan Haig