Review Blog

Jul 17 2020

Tashi series by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg

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Illus. by Kim Gamble. Allen & Unwin, 2020.
Tashi: The book of magical mysteries. ISBN: 9781760525200.
Tashi: The book of giant adventures. ISBN: 9781760525163
(Age: 7-9) Highly recommended. Allen & Unwin have republished many of the Tashi stories written between 1995 and 2009 in four volumes, richly illustrated by Gamble. Initially selling over a million copies worldwide, Tashi is now a TV series and there have been many other books featuring this wonderful character.
Republished in volumes of eight stories compiled under titles such as The book of giant adventures and The book of magical mysteries, younger readers will have the thrill of reading about Tashi for the first time, while older readers will pick up a volume to be reacquainted with an old friend.
Each of these two volumes contain a clutch of stories, all about thirty pages long accompanied by Gamble's readily recognised illustrations of the tall hatted hero. Each is followed by its companion story.
In The book of magical mysteries, for example is a story called Tashi and the ghosts, when Jack as usual is telling his parents a tale about Tashi eating ghosts. They settle in for a story in the front room, as Jack retells Tashi's experience with a ghostly invasion that had the whole village wondering how to get rid of them. This story of working with his uncle and his telescope is followed by an expose of Tashi's bravery in The mountain of white tigers.
Each of the stories tells an adventure and also gives a precept for life: being kind, being careful of strangers, helping others, being kind to your friends and so on.
In The book of giant adventures is the first Tashi story simply called Tashi, first published in 1995. Reading it recalled my initial fascination for this little person and the effect of friendship on Jack. He introduces his new friend to his parents at tea, telling them about the boy he has met. Dad asks all the wrong questions, prompting Jack to be a little impatient with him but eventually they learn about Tashi, the boy who arrived on a swan. This wonderful story is followed by Dragon breath.
With their bright new covers, the stories will be wonderful read alouds as well as being most attractive for younger readers to pick up. Themes: Tashi, Adventure.
Fran Knight

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