Reviews of children's and young adult books old and new

Friday, February 19, 2010

Slow and Steady Always Gets the Prize

All the way to Lhasa: A Tale from Tibet Retelling & Art by Barbara Helen Berger

Berger retells this story from Tibet about a journey to the holy city of Lhasa. A young boy with his yak is on a journey to reach Lhasa. On his way he comes across an old woman sitting by the road. He asks her how far it is to the city, she replies that it is very far but he will get there before nightfall. The young boy keeps on his journey one step at a time over rivers, through a snow storm, and past a sleeping traveler until at last, just as night is about to fall he reaches the holy city of Lhasa.

This very simple story is a great example of the phrase "slow and steady wins the race." While the only race in this book is against nightfall, it is another example of how taking your time and working towards a goal will get you what you want in the end. I love the illustrations Berger created for this book. The images have soft edges and pastel colors that give the reader a soothing feeling. Even though the story is very short the reader still feels for the young boy and wants him to reach his goal. This is a retelling from an old Tibetan tale. The author gives some background at the end of the book about the city of Lhasa and I appreciated having the extra information. I would recommend as a good read before nap or bedtime as a way to wind down for children ages 3-6.

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