Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure
Written and Illustrated by Naomi C. Rose
Naomi C. Rose weaves a heart-warming tale about the resolve of a little girl to help her Popola get well. This story is perhaps best suited for a third grade class; it speaks of a little girl’s Tibetan grandfather who is healed by the power of nature and people’s enveloping companionship and love. As a third grade class reads this book, it encourages reading skills in comprehension. There are several culturally relevant words that students will perhaps have to research or at least dig deep into the text for context clues. Words such as “Tibetan chants,” “mala,” “thangka,” and “solja” encourage students to look up their meanings to deepen comprehension. The theme of this book is a girl’s determination on behalf of her grandfather. She rallies a community to help heal him from the spirit outward. An easy journal assignment after reading <em>Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure</em> would be to have students write how they can relate to Tashi. Perhaps students could share what they would be willing to do for a beloved family member.
This book would be a great fit during a unit about different cultures around the world or as a unit about families. As an extension activity, a class could easily have a day experiencing the Tibetan culture when the class enjoys a traditional cup of “solja”, black tea with butter and salt. It would be interesting for students to experience this distinct brew and write a description of how this tea service compares to their own experience with tea. Students could then read aloud their various experiences. In a third grade class, one could expect dozens of different experiences ranging from hot tea given to ward off a cough to tea parties with dollies to sweet ice tea at an aunt’s home. Later in the day or unit, students could even participate in a high tea and employ their best etiquette. Students may draw a cartoon about how to behave during a tea party (high tea, Tibetan tea, or play tea party), and/or how embarrassing poor behavior may be during that tea party. <em>Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure</em> provides students a peek into a truly intriguing culture and offers a segue into discussion about myriad customs that most cultures share.