Both the making of and eating of thukpa—a Tibetan noodle soup that is also consumed across Nepal, the eastern states of India, and in the occupied territories of Jammu and Kashmir—sit at the center of this tale about a tight-knit community in Ladakh (a subregion of Jammu and Kashmir).
As the book opens, Tsering, who is blind and uses a cane as a mobility aid, hums, “Hot, hot thukpa / Hearty, chunky thukpa / Yummy, spicy thukpa.” As he walks through his village, he invites community and family members to come and join him at home for a bowl of thukpa. Tsering makes his way through his world on his own: When Abi, his grandmother, asks him to bring her peas for the soup, he “shuffles along the stone wall to the vegetable patch” and “feels the smooth pea pods with his fingers.” Tsering’s invited guests arrive, but just as Abi begins cooking, the power goes out! Abi worries, but Tsering assures her that “lights on or off” doesn’t matter to him. Tsering is the perfect sous chef, and all ends well when the power returns. The pages are filled with delightful onomatopoeia—“flap, thwap” flutter the prayer flags; “tring, tringg” goes a bell—and Ranade’s inviting illustrations detail the life and geography of this mountainous region. Informative backmatter includes an introduction to the region, a glossary, and a recipe.
A delightful family story that broadens representations of South Asia and South Asian children. (Picture book. 4-8)