Timeless. Remember those tales you used to hear as you were growing up? They had a universal feel to them and always a sense of a greater power presence. This is a wonderful new addition to that shelf in children's literature. Rashi is a young girl whose mother picks tea along with many others on a local plantation at the foot of the mountains. You wonder where on the globe they are and if you read the authors' note, it seems they were influenced by tea pickers at the foot of the Himalayas so that gives you your sense of setting.
Rashi's mother gets too ill to pick tea and Rashi realizes that unless her mother works, they will not have money for the doctor. So, young Rashi picks up the heavy basket, puts it on her back and heads off to work only to be laughed away by the overseer. But, Rashi has friends in the trees. She has always connected with the monkeys who live there and now they come and take her basket and disappear.
The mysteriousness of where they go is truly wonderful. The enchanting fact that they come back with a basket filled with tea is amazing. Even better, when the Royal Tea Taster appears, it is the leaves in Rashi's basket that make him stop in wonderment. Only a few times in his life has he tasted cloud tea. These leaves have been born of the clouds and they are the best in the world. Fortune made. Beautifully exotic illustrations pave the way and there is a feeling of opening a door into a world we do not visit on a daily basis. 56 pages Ages 7-10
Recommended by: Barb