All The Way to Lhasa: A Tale from Tibet

Overview

Known for her luminescent Grandfather Twilight, Barbara Helen Berger brings beauty and power to this memorable parable from Tibet. A young boy and his yak bravely overcome all odds to get to Lhasa, giving a wise and simple message that will inspire children of any age to dream and reach for a shining goal that may seem "very far."

A boy and his yak persevere along the difficult way to the holy city of Lhasa and succeed where others...

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Overview

Known for her luminescent Grandfather Twilight, Barbara Helen Berger brings beauty and power to this memorable parable from Tibet. A young boy and his yak bravely overcome all odds to get to Lhasa, giving a wise and simple message that will inspire children of any age to dream and reach for a shining goal that may seem "very far."

A boy and his yak persevere along the difficult way to the holy city of Lhasa and succeed where others fail.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this retelling of a Tibetan parable, Berger (Grandfather Twilight) features two people on their way to the holy city of Lhasa. An old woman sitting alongside the road to Lhasa (dressed in burgundy and yellow, the holy colors) tells an impatient man on a speedy horse who asks how far it is to Lhasa, "Very far.... You'll never make it there before night." Meanwhile, in answer to the same question from a boy leading his "steady yak," the woman replies, "Very far... but you can make it there before night." Berger's mural-like, full-spread paintings, bordered in deep burgundy, chronicle the boy's treacherous mountain journey as he navigates switchbacks, coaxes his reluctant yak across a flimsy rope bridge and braves a blizzard. (He also passes fluttering prayer flags, mantra-carved stones and spired shrines, which, an afterword notes, simulate actual landmarks that Tibetans would encounter on the pilgrimage.) The wise woman has recognized in the boy a determination simply to keep putting "one foot in front of the other" (the book's refrain) and, sure enough, he is rewarded with a safe and timely arrival at the magnificent city (he passes the "fallen horse and rider" on his way). Placing her realistically rendered hero in a lyrically stylized landscape a world where clouds and waves curl like tendrils (often spilling beyond the paintings' borders), and magical figures materialize in the mountain air Berger subtly underscores both the mysticism of the journey and the universality of its down-to-earth, slow-and-steady-wins-the-race moral. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-The story here is a simple one, inspired by a Tibetan parable. An old woman sitting by the roadside is approached by a galloping horse and rider and asked, "How far is it to Lhasa?" The woman replies that he will never make it before nightfall. She is next approached by a young boy, slowly but persistently plodding along on foot with his yak. He poses the same question, but is told that he will be able to reach the holy city before dark. Predictably, the boy's stolid determination helps him reach his goal, passing the exhausted horse and rider who have frittered away their energy along the way. The tale is reminiscent of Uri Shulevitz's The Treasure (Farrar, 1979), not so much in terms of its message as in its ability to deliver a pearl of wisdom with grace and simplicity. Berger's illustrations, done in acrylic, colored pencil, and gouache, sweep across spreads and are laced with numerous symbols from Tibetan art and culture, all of which are explained in an extensive author's note. On her Web site, the author states: "A picture book is a journey for eye and ear, heart and mind." Berger's readers take such a journey here, and it is well worth the trip.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399233876
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.36 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Helen Berger lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Barbara Helen Berger lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

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