The festive season is always the right time to give a little something to our family and friends. But many of us panic because we don’t know what to give our nearest and dearest for Christmas. A book is always a good idea. But which book to give? Amongst the many releases, we suggest the latest book by Susanna Tamaro, The Tiger and The Acrobat (Publisher: La Nave di Teseo, 149 pages, €16.50) The plot Two tiger cubs live well protected in a den with their mother, until they reach adulthood and decide what to do with their lives. If the little tiger does not struggle to free itself, the fragile cub will instead end up imprisoned in a circus. As a slave, the cub does not lack anything from a material point of view, but still it is unhappy: in the beginning, it feels empty, alone, angry, and then sets in resignation and loss of hope. It must decide whether to finish its days giving up its dreams, or risk dying of starvation or be killed to escape, risking it all to live according to its nature, in freedom. The condemnation of servitude The book, written like a moral fable suitable to read to children, shows the drudgery of life in a golden cage. The veiled and stinging social criticism is evident, and personally challenging. It makes us wonder whether we would prefer to live fully and meaningfully, or sell out just to live in comfort. Susanna Tamaro’s proposal is clear: freedom, especially that of the conscience, comes before everything else, before vanity, comfort, before guaranteed meals and even life itself. The love of nature and the search for the right path Still not convinced about which book to gift this Christmas? I’ll make a few other small comments: this book will please both adults and kids alike, because it addresses two issues very dear to young people: love of nature and the search for the right path. Two issues important to the author emerge within the book, and reoccur in her other works. The first is a love of nature, for animals, for living things. Susanna Tamaro denounces the arrogance of humans, who, instead of caring for creation, dominates it without respect; criticising the cruelty of those who know how to kill "for fun" and not just "out of necessity." The second recurring aspect is a desire to find their own way: the writer often proposes the theme of the journey towards themselves and insists on the need to follow the road suited to each of us. Why give this book for Christmas? The book is an excellent choice for anyone not knowing what to give at Christmas, a time we remember the birth of Jesus. It is a work that defends the value of freedom, to the detriment of every form of slavery and calls for coherence. If for Christians, Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross to liberate man from a form of slavery, sin; for others it is an example of coherence, because he gave up his life rather than lose himself, to show, to the full, what he believed in. The values related to Christmas Even where Christmas has lost its strictly religious significance – and no mention of the figure of Jesus is made – it continues to be an occasion to celebrate fraternity, respect, service, listening to the other's needs, harmony... And the book represents all these values. Moreover, it is an enjoyable read: short and smooth and written in simple and accessible language. Although every reader, according to their age and background will delve differently into the well of allegories offered by Susanna Tamaro, the story is recommended for people of all ages. If you are in a panic and don’t know what to give for Christmas, stay calm! Maybe you’ve just found the one for you!