Lucky Baby Yak, by Helen Manos

…Pema lay wide awake in the nomad tent and watched the flickering butter lamp through soft shaggy shapes on the wall. She listened to the noises of the grunting, growling night.

Pema and her brother Tenzin are part of a nomadic mountain culture. They are excited when Baby Yak is born. The first yak born for the summer will bring good luck. Good luck butter, good luck tent ropes, good luck bridle and saddle bag. But change is coming to the mountain people. Soldiers come from the east, calling for an end to nomadic life. The mountain people must find a way to protect their way, or lose it forever.

Lucky Baby Yak shines a warm light on an ancient way of living. The story is told with sympathy for all those who have lost their homes and way of life. But there is some understanding too for the soldiers imposing the will of others. Max Maxfield’s illustrations are simple and colourful, styled almost like photos in an album. There is sadness and hope. Grandmother is philosophical, Baby Yak has brought them luck, a chance to live on. This is a picture story book for a broad age range. It has much to say about endurance and acceptance as well as showing readers another way of living.

Recommended for 5-8 year olds.

Lucky Baby Yak, by Helen Manos and Max Maxfield

Lothian Children’s Books

ISBN 9780733621604

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