Review Blog

Feb 22 2016

Tashi series by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2015.
Tashi and the giant squid. ISBN 9781925266993
Tashi and the golden jawbone. ISBN 9781925267020
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Fantasy, Adventure. It's always fascinating to see an established book produced for television then another book produced from the animated series! It's a bit circular, and the end product is not quite like the original. But it does promote a good book to a wider audience.
I love the original Tashi books by the Fienbergs. They are original and funny, smart and enchanting. To make them into an animated series took them to another audience, and the plethora of people needed to do this is staggering. Flying Bark Studios employed a further writer and designer (Zoe Harrington and Fin Edquist along with Penny Black Designs) Then to produce this book, the novelisaton was once again done by the Fienbergs and as this book has word games, puzzles and activities, another name appears in the growing credit list, Meredith Costain. What a crowded office.
But what the heck, kids reading it will love the little character, and if they have seen the television show, will read it with gusto, or if new to the series, will look for them at their library.
Tashi and the giant squid involves a young boy entering a fishing competition, but when the trophy is stolen he and Jack must work out how to catch the thief. The story is told within thirty pages and is copiously illustrated, making it an accessible chapter book for beginning readers, and with a similar number of pages devoted to games and puzzles, make this an ideal book to fill some hours of the day.
Similarly the next book, Tashi and the golden jawbone, involves Tashi in the village storytelling competition, but there is more happening than he expected.
Good reads, entertainingly produced and presented, this series of books lives on in another form and will find a place within libraries of all kinds.
Fran Knight

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