Review Blog

Aug 03 2015

Tashi series by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2015.
Tashi and the Golden Jawbone. ISBN 9781925267020
Tashi and Giant Squid. ISBN 9781925266993
(Ages: 6-8) Recommended. Based on the Popular Television Series. Tashi has been a much-loved character since 1995, when mother and daughter Anna and Barbara Fienberg published their first junior novel. Flying Bark Productions has taken the wonderful stories, special characters and created an animated series for ABC3. These colourful new stories showcase the bold graphic designs from the animations.
Each story begins with the explanation that Jack's parents have sent him to stay with his cousin Tashi and they are caught up in magical adventures in a fantastical land inhabited by unique creatures and evil villains, trolls, giants or witches. Of course feisty Lotus Blossom is there to help the boys in the difficult situations that they always seem to find themselves in.
In Tashi and the Golden Jawbone the annual Storyteller's Competition is being held and the prize is a huge golden shark's jawbone. Jack's story of the box factory impresses the villagers, however, all Tashi can think about is wanting to experience something new, exciting and dangerous. Desperate to steal a tale from Tashi the storyteller, the Baron captures the boys. After escaping from the Baron and avoiding capture by the bandits, the boys run into Baba Yaga's house. She is delighted and sets about making boy stew. With the help of an old Instamatic camera, they escape from the witch and avoid the Baron's clutches. After an encounter with a white tiger and a little help from the Thunderdove, the boys are back just in time for Tashi to recount his adventures and win the master storyteller prize.
The villagers are excited to be competing in the Annual Fishing Contest in Tashi and Giant Squid. Jack's first attempt with his new techno-rod and glittering lure catches a small baby squid - a Kraken. Of course The Warlord marches in with his soldiers carrying a gigantic Trumper eel which he claims he's caught (without any proof.) Even though Tashi informs Wise-as-an-Owl that eels are freshwater creatures and can't be caught in saltwater, the Warlord wins the prize again. The boys set up an aquarium for the little squid, not heeding Lotus Blossom's warning. When the Warlord calls the next morning demanding that his prize is returned to him, another chase begins. Jack and Tashi use their keen detective skills to solve the disappearance of the trophy and Squidly is returned to his mother, a giant squid with huge pink tentacles.
Twenty pages of puzzles, activities and games are included as well. These stories are a great gift for the young Tashi fan.
Recommended for 6-8 year olds
Rhyllis Bignell

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