Review Blog

Nov 27 2013

Once Tashi met a dragon by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg

cover image

Ill. by Kim Gamble. Allen & Unwin, 2013. ISBN 9781741758870.
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Picture book, Tashi series, Dragons. Those hooked by the Tashi stories will be equally as excited with this new picture book concerning Tashi's first meeting with a dragon. The familiar little boy questions his grandmother about the dragon he has heard about, and then questions Second Uncle and Wise-as-an-owl and learns little.
Gamble's lovely watercolour illustrations are immediately recognisable, as his sweep of muted colours give the impression of an Asian countryside, not very far away with the warm green and brown hues contrasting vividly with Tashi's more exotic clothes. The lovely tactile image of the dragon on the front cover will draw readers in to open the book and keep reading.
When the rains come crashing down, Grandmother tells the child that the dragon brings the rain, but one year the rains do not come. Tashi sets off to investigate. He finds the dragon, who is distraught that he cannot wake his mother and has inadvertently eaten his sister. Tashi teaches him to sing the song which wakes his mother and so all is resolved with the rains once more falling on the village.
As with all the stories, the character of Tashi is endearing: he is a problem solver, he is not afraid of taking bold steps to get to the heart of a problem. Readers will love reading of this adventure and eagerly wait for the next. And if that is too hard, then a look at the Tashi website may fill the time.
Fran Knight

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