Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Tashi and the Demons (Tashi series)

Tashi and the Demons (Tashi series)

Anna Fienberg
Illustrator:  Kim Gamble 
Fiction  Series
For ages 5 to 7
Allen & Unwin, 2007   ISBN: 978-1741149708

Jack and his Mum and Dad are in the garden where Dad is planting a new gardenia bush. When the task is complete, the family sit together in the sun and Jack proceeds to tell his parents yet another story about Tashi, Jack's friend.

There once was a time when rain did not fall on Tashi's village for months. Food was scarce, and one day Tashi's mother sent her son out to forage for anything edible that he could find. After walking for hours, Tashi came across a gooseberry bush laden with fruit, and behind the bush he found a princess who had been captured by a pair of fierce and terrifying demons.

Quickly Tashi untied the princess. Then he told her to take refuge in his village. He would continue to look for food and would join her when he was finished with his task.

Not surprisingly, the demons found Tashi and they were determined to find out where the princess was. Bravely Tashi refused to tell them where the pretty girl was hidden. The demons proceeded to try to terrify Tashi with enormous spiders, snakes, and rats but the little fellow, despite his fear, managed to keep his cool, to smile, and even to laugh. Would the demons find something that could terrify Tashi enough that he would reveal where the princess was?

In this splendid little book Tashi uses his wits, once again, to get out of a very sticky situation. Not only that, but he shows true courage by overcoming his fears and by keeping the whereabouts of the princess a secret. Children will see that real bravery is managing to do something even when you are terrified out of your wits.

This is just one of two stories in this Tashi book. Readers who are eager to move beyond beginner titles will greatly enjoy this book and this series. The stories are engaging, the characters delightful, and the underlying messages about courage, good sense, and compassion are understated, simple, and meaningful.