Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: Tua and the Elephant

by Chiang Mai, Thailand. While her mother works nights at a restaurant Tua visits all her friends and relations at the night market, sampling sweet treats and helping her favorite vendors with a few chores. It's a village were adventure waits around the corner, and sure enough Tua finds delight and opportunity when she meets a wise eyed elephant begging for friendship and rescue. Phon Phon, the elephant, has been captured by cruelly abusive mahouts intent on milking tourists. In a dashing escape and hair-raising chase through the countryside to the refuge at the Buddhist temple they are aided by an opera singer, ragtag children, barking dogs and a buffalo herding boy all of whom add to a rollicking good story. I can't wait to read this book to a circle of bright-eyed children! The only thing I could suggest that would add to the pleasure of reading this aloud would be a glossary and pronunciation guide for the Thai words sprinkled through out. I would also appreciate few recipes for tasty treats like banana roti with chocolate sauce and condensed milk, rice curries with noodles, sticky rice with mango, green papaya salad with shredded carrots, tamarind ice cream, and crispy banana fritters... all described fragrantly in the course of the story. Yes, this book will make you drool. It's on the Middle Grade Fiction list nominated for a Cybil award this year. You can read the Kirkus review here and get a preview of the first couple chapters at the publisher's site here.

1 comment:

M.F. Atkins said...

I grew up in Thailand and love this book. It captured a lot of great cultural elements and made me homesick.