Kirkus Reviews QR Code
TASHI AND THE PHOENIX by Anna Fienberg

TASHI AND THE PHOENIX

By Anna Fienberg (Author) , Barbara Fienberg (Author) , Kim Gamble (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-74175-474-2
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Tashi is the star of a long-running series from Australia (Tashi and the Mixed-Up Monster, 2007, etc.). This 15th book still has a freshness that comes from the quietly humorous disconnect between the titular magical, elf-like character and his friends, Jack and his suburban family. Meeting legendary beings like Baba Yaga, the Golem or the Phoenix seems to be a regular part of Tashi’s existence. Here, Tashi saves the day by using his wits and a bit of ghost-cake (the magical substance that allows slipping through walls) and frees the Phoenix after the great bird agrees to display his magnificence at the Warlord’s court in order to save the elf’s uncle from his own boasting. In addition to the title story, “The Unexpected Letter” showcases Tashi’s relationships with two princesses. The penciled pseudo-Asian backgrounds and a villain who resembles Genghis Khan seem stereotypical, but there is an air of enchantment about Tashi’s imaginary world. Look no further for a different type of first chapter book. (Fantasy. 6-8)