Tashi and the Wicked Magician and other stories by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg
Ill. by Kim Gamble. Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743315088
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Jack and his magical friend Tashi return in four exciting, new adventures. With evil magicians, fiery dragons, an escape from a burning building and protecting an endangered orchid from thieves, Tashi and his friends and family are kept busy. He is brave, daring, creative and courageous.
These stories spark the reader's imagination and provide wonderful opportunities for class engagement. They are a wonderful stimulus for creative writing and oral language. It's hard to recommend year levels or readers' age range because the children who grew up with Tashi since 1995 are now parents introducing the stories to a new generation.
Anna and Barbara Fienberg's creative storytelling brings Tashi's family and community to life. He has close friends and fierce enemies. In The Magnificent Magician, Ah Chu and Lotus Blossom help Tashi stop the evil Magi's plans, save the Baron's treasure and face an angry alligator. While Jack and his family enjoy a camping holiday, Tashi becomes involved in a dangerous mission to stop the fire-breathing Red Whiskered Dragon who is destroying the villager's homes.
Kim Gamble's marvellous illustrations are beautifully detailed and richly coloured. They complement the Fienbergs' stories and bring Tashi to life. After the young hero bravely scrambles up the vain dragon's spine, Kim brilliantly captures this moment when their eyes meet in the mirror.
Highly recommended for Tashi fans of all ages and independent readers from 7+. There is a website for the series.