Thursday, June 17, 2010


Tashi Series

Story by: Anna Fienbery, Barbara Fienberg
Illustrations by: Kim Gamble

Although the number of times that I get to tell a bed-time story is very less(thanks to rather odd office timing) my stories would involve fierce looking dragons, magic painting coming to life, scary monsters, magicians, fierce competitions and so on. It would be a mash-up of all the fantasy books that I read and old folk tales. It would some times turn scary and Ranjani would scowl and say - "Do not say such stories for kids during the night".

Imagine every such story making into a book with some wonderful illustrations and a very smart boy fighting and tackling all these fierce-some creatures and demons - That for you is the wonderful series called Tashi. One of the reasons I love this series is that it is very similar to many of my own weird stories. For example, we all know the folk tale of a lion jumping into a well to fight its mirror image and drowning itself. The same story gets a wonderful treatment in this series with a smelly dragon and the smart kid instead.

Anna Fienbery and Barbara Fienberg, a mother and daughter, team up to create a very, very smart character called Tashi. Tashi, the story teller, has come from a far, far away country on a swan and has become a friend of Jack. Tashi keeps Jack entertained with his great dare-devil stories and heroic acts that he was involved in his old country. Jack sometimes relates these stories to his father and mother too.

Every book in the series has two stories and illustrations add a great sense of fun to the whole book. Illustrations are by Kim Gamble and done in pencil. These pencil drawings come to life and enliven the fascinating adventures of Tashi.

The series has around 16 books in total and the reading level of the books increase as we go up the series. This is a very nice way to help kids read. Sooraj was fascinated when he picked up this book and he would read a book in 30-40 minutes and keep asking for the next one. After reading around 5-6 books in the series, he has now lost interest. But, if pressed to tell his favourite, I would not doubt that he would pick up Tashi as his favourite series (although Jack Stalwart is slowly gaining prominence).

The series is re-published in India by Viva Books Private Limited and each book cost Rs.60/-. A great buy and would keep kids awake for long.

Although, there are great many reasons to enjoy this book, the one reason why one should buy these books are for their wonderful illustrations. Kim Gamble rocks.

I strongly recommend it and as the book cover says - "Tashi's brave. Tashi's bold. Tashi's the best".


Praba Ram said...

The funny intro about your story-telling is good enough reason to try this really fun series with the kids! :)

sandhya said...

Have seen these books in stores, Satish, but never really tried them. Thanks for introducing them to us. Will look out for them now.

And I was smiling all through your introduction. When my daughter A was 4-5 yrs old, she would also get her father to tell a bedtime story very rarely. On such occasions, she would name any four animals, the more far apart in habitat the better- eg crow, crocodile, ant and penguin! And then he was supposed to tell her a long story involving these and herself. To his credit, he did! She finds this immensely funny now at the grand old age of 9! This reminded me of that.

Poppy said...

Sounds fascinating Satish. And I wish I could be a fly on the wall when you're narrating those mish-mash stories to your children :)

sathish said...

Praba, It is a real fun series.

Sandhya, let us know how it went down in your home after you try this series.

Poppy, you would be crushed!

utbtkids said...

Satish, trust you to come up with fantasy books and stories :)

The older one is slowly moving out of picture books and I find that books in fantasy fiction genre to be more in the 8+ age category. Amazon says age group 4-8 and this book sounds like something that would perfectly fit at home. We will definitely try Tashi.

Meera Sriram said...

Wow Sathish! Seems to me the cute gnome will get me and my 5yr old on board the fantasy-witches-goblins-and-giants-train much sooner than I think and will even leave us wanting for more:) Was the series originally created / born in Australia?

Choxbox said...

Thanks for letting us know of this - sounds interesting.
And why dont you pen down your mish-mash creations?!

@ Sandhya: Its still our favourite thing to do when stuck in traffic. Pluck out 3 random words for the next person - he/she has to create a story with them in it :)

Praba Ram said...

leaving a test comment.

sandhya said...

Picked up the first book in this series yesterday. At A's reading pace, the book was finished under 10 mins, and I have been asked to get the rest of the series. I am going to try the library for these, and if they are there, will take her ASAP for a most enjoyable afternoon there.
There was a lot of laughter at Jack telling his father at intervals that he asked all the wrong questions. A too thinks (yet!) that has all the answers and that father doesn't know much! At least of her interests!:)

sathish said...

Sandhya, Tashi is a riot of fun!

Sooraj at home also thinks I ask all the wrong questions and relies exclusively on mom for a confirmation!! They, the authors, got it right, me thinks! :)

wordjunkie said...

Just discovered a bunch of Tashi books at the store and grabbed a few, though not in any order. A giant called Chintu! A surly neighbour called Soh Meen .. who could resist?

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