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Tibetan Tales from the Top of the World

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Overview

Tibetan Tales from the Top of the World is a 64-page picture book featuring three beautifully illustrated tales from Tibet. A young prince, wise monkey, and magical guardian are some of the engaging characters that fill this book. Each story, told in English and Tibetan, offers a fun, enchanting glimpse of Tibetan culture. The book is written and illustrated with full-page, full color paintings by Naomi C. Rose, whose previous book Tibetan Tales for Little Buddhas won the Nautilus Book Award and was a ...

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Overview

Tibetan Tales from the Top of the World is a 64-page picture book featuring three beautifully illustrated tales from Tibet. A young prince, wise monkey, and magical guardian are some of the engaging characters that fill this book. Each story, told in English and Tibetan, offers a fun, enchanting glimpse of Tibetan culture. The book is written and illustrated with full-page, full color paintings by Naomi C. Rose, whose previous book Tibetan Tales for Little Buddhas won the Nautilus Book Award and was a Storytelling World Honor Title.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
This lively collection with prefatory comments by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Richard Gere, is the second of its kind from author-illustrator Naomi Rose (Tibetan Tales for Little Buddhas). In bilingual text, translated into Tibetan by Tenzin Palsang, this sixty-four-page collection includes three intriguing stories. "Prince Jampa's Surprise" is about a prince who acts on his people's assumptions about their neighboring kingdom, only to be taken aback at the reality he discovers. In "Sonam and the Stolen Cow," a young nun is accused of stealing a calf. She flees in righteous indignation, until an encounter with an all-knowing monkey gives her perspective. "Tashi's Gold" is a lesson about greed, involving wonderful dramatic elements such as a singing guardian spirit and atmospheric gusts of wind. A glossary with phonetic pronunciations and an author's note are located in the front matter. Back matter includes captioned spot illustrations of the Tibetan wildlife featured in the art as part of the setting. Rose's text is clear, simple, and direct. Briskly paced but lyrical in quality, the stories make their points without didacticism. They reflect the unique blend of thoughtful actions and deeply held values that characterize the Tibetan Buddhist's "lifeway." A photograph placed in front matter and then again in the middle story complements the colorful paintings. A rare bilingual offering and a wonderful gift to young readers. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—This collection of three wisdom tales is a companion to Rose's Tibetan Tales for Little Buddhas (Clear Light, 2004). In "Prince Jampa's Surprise," a young prince gathers 5000 horsemen to attack a neighboring kingdom believed to be savage and bloodthirsty. He is surprised to find the people gentle and welcoming, totally unlike the stories he has heard. "Sonam and the Stolen Cow" tells of a young nun falsely accused of stealing a cow and then convicted in her own heart for something she stole years before. When she returns a sacred statue and clears her cousin's name, her heart can sing again. In "Tashi's Gold," a lazy boy learns of a magical lake full of gold. Its guardian allows him to take a little but warns that true riches never come from gold, a lesson he learns as he shares kapsay cookies with his hungry family. The expressive faces of the Tibetan people are carefully rendered while backgrounds are more impressionistic. Rose's palette is rich with periwinkle, teals, reds, golds, pinks, and purples. Landscapes include wildlife such as the black-necked crane, golden snub-nosed monkey, Himalayan marmot, and white-lipped deer. In his foreword, the Dalai Lama commends these stories for their "clarity, simplicity, and enchanting appeal to children." Containing both English and Tibetan texts, these tales shine a light on the hearts of the Tibetan people.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
Kirkus Reviews
Rose's follow-up to Tibetan Tales for Little Buddhas (2004) features three more traditional tales. In the first, generations have passed down stories of the savagery of the people of Varasi. Prince Jampa thinks he's discovered their plot, so he sets out on a preemptive invasion. When he arrives at the palace, Jampa gets a surprise. In the next, Sonam, a reclusive nun, is accused of stealing. She's innocent, but she learns a lesson about the implications of her past crimes thanks to a helpful monkey. And finally Tashi finds a lake full of gold nuggets. The wise, fearsome guardian goddess lets him take one nugget. Wiley Tashi takes his father back to get his one nugget. The two plan to take the whole family, but instead learn money doesn't buy happiness and sharing is a reward unto itself. The paintings are bright and their subjects expressive, if a bit stiff. Although the preface and forward from Richard Gere and the Dalai Lama, respectively, have a regrettably throwaway feel, these three moralistic tales presented in both English and Tibetan is a good addition to large folklore collections. (Picture book/folklore. 5-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574160895
  • Publisher: Dancing Dakini Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2009
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 6 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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