Allison's Book Bag

Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure by Naomi Rose

Posted on: March 30, 2013

What a sweet story! Through her picture book Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure, Naomi Rose spins a tale of love between Tashi and her grandfather. Rose’s jewel-toned acrylic paintings also wonderfully capture the growing sense of community. Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure should appeal to young readers, whatever their culture.

Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure introduces readers to the world of Tibetan Americans. Tashi’s family sings Tibetan chants, click prayer beads, and burn candles. They hang painted scrolls on their walls. And the older generation miss their Tibetan homeland. For those who might wish to know more about Tibetan culture, there is also an information page near the back which briefly describes Tibet, its spiritual practices, and some of its words. One paragraph also talks about what life is like for those Tibetans who immigrated to the United States after they left their homeland in search of religious and cultural freedoms.

Beyond this, the picture book’s message is a universal one of compassion. Tashi’s grandfather is sick. He’s been “making scratchy noises with each breath”. Despite doctor visits, he coughs and sleeps a lot. Recalling a story her grandfather told her about villagers in Tibet using flowers to cure themselves, Tashi decides to bring spring daisies to her grandfather. The flowers don’t work, because she needs more of them and “the magic of our land and people”. Tashi is determined to not give up—and in the end her compassion stirs the hearts of others, resulting in a new feeling of community for their family.

Something else which stood out to me while reading Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure is the lavish language. When reading books for younger readers, I’m often tempted to excuse a simplistic style as being appropriate to the age of its audience. Then I read stories like Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure, which mind you is a picture book and intended for the youngest readers, and I’m blown away by the beauty of its diction. Consider phases like these: “deep voice flows up and down” and “spitting puffs of steam” and “face melts into a lonely gaze”.

In an interview with Lee and Low, Rose indicated a desire to write tales that benefit children. Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure will serve well to educate readers about the Tibetan way of life, as well as to inspire them to build a community of compassion. Yet Naomi Rose didn’t stop there. She also weaved a tale of lyrical quality. For all these reasons, I recommend Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure.

My rating? Read it: Borrow from your library or a friend. It’s worth your time.

How would you rate this book?

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