ALL THE WAY TO LHASA

A TALE FROM TIBET

In a simple retelling of a Tibetan parable, two travelers journey across Tibet to Lhasa: one in haste on horseback and the other slowly plodding on foot accompanied by his yak. On the way, each traveler asks an old woman, “How far is it to Lhasa?”—and each time the old woman replies, “Very far.” The rider is told that he’ll never make it before night and the boy on foot is assured that he will reach Lhasa by nightfall, and he does, whereas the rider on horseback falls and fails. Berger’s (Angels on a Pin, 2000, etc.) familiar dreamlike style and characters are a likely pairing in creating a mystical atmosphere. The striking maroon borders frame and contrast the heavenly setting, echoing the color of the old woman’s robe. Double-spread acrylic, colored pencil, and gouache clouds, rushing torrents of water, and snow-covered mountains fill up and spill out from one page to the next. The landscape, the architecture, and inclusion of the flowers, prayer flags, stones with carved prayers, and Chupa (the traditional coat worn by the traveler on horseback) define place and culture. With otherwise such attention to detail, it is curious that the old woman is clothed in a manner (shawl over the shoulder) usually exclusive to ordained monks and male teachers, not lay people. Faintly reminiscent of the Tortoise and the Hare fable, the lack of interaction among the participants creates a sense of remoteness that is less than compelling, though it does reinforce the theme of a personal quest. Quietly inspiring. (Picture book/folktale. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-399-23387-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2002

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE NAME JAR

Unhei has just left her Korean homeland and come to America with her parents. As she rides the school bus toward her first day of school, she remembers the farewell at the airport in Korea and examines the treasured gift her grandmother gave her: a small red pouch containing a wooden block on which Unhei’s name is carved. Unhei is ashamed when the children on the bus find her name difficult to pronounce and ridicule it. Lesson learned, she declines to tell her name to anyone else and instead offers, “Um, I haven’t picked one yet. But I’ll let you know next week.” Her classmates write suggested names on slips of paper and place them in a jar. One student, Joey, takes a particular liking to Unhei and sees the beauty in her special stamp. When the day arrives for Unhei to announce her chosen name, she discovers how much Joey has helped. Choi (Earthquake, see below, etc.) draws from her own experience, interweaving several issues into this touching account and delicately addressing the challenges of assimilation. The paintings are done in creamy, earth-tone oils and augment the story nicely. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80613-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...

WAITING FOR THE BIBLIOBURRO

Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more