Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Unique (If Somewhat Limited) Opportunity for Children to Learn about Tibetan-American Culture

Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure by Naomi C. Rose (Lee & Low Books, 2011, 40pp.)

Tashi, a young American girl, has grown up listening to her Tibetan-born grandfather (referred to as “Popola,”) talk about the land where he was born. One of the old beliefs, he tells her, is that the pollen from flowers has medicinal properties; if you sit downwind from flowers and let yourself be “dusted” by their pollen, you will be cured of any ailment. When Popola falls ill, Tashi knows that she will need many flowers to cure him. She finds a flower nursery and explains her problem to the kind owner, who agrees to let Popola sit and relax among his flowers. Soon, the nursery’s other patrons notice the ailing man, and it becomes a community effort to help Tashi’s grandfather get better. This feel-good story about grandfathers and granddaughters is pretty much like any other, but with one exception: the heroine’s ancestry provides a unique (if somewhat limited) opportunity for children to learn about Tibetan-American culture. Includes glossary and explanatory notes on Tibet’s culture, and the lives of Tibetan immigrants in the United States. Recommended for Ages 4-8.

Click on cover for image source.

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