living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand – Children Books – ‘Tua and the Elephant,’ by R. P. Harris

Via : New Your Times

“A  master mahout becomes one with his elephant,” we are told in this charming novel for middle-grade readers.

“He is brother and sister, mother and father, and son and daughter to his elephant. He lives, eats and sleeps with his elephant. He feeds it from his table, and bathes with it in the river. The mahout becomes an elephant, and the elephant becomes a mahout. The two are inseparable. But just as there are all kinds of elephants, so, too, there are all kinds of mahouts.”

Ten-year-old Tua (Thai for “Peanut”) recognizes immediately that the mahouts she sees on a city street with a lovely young elephant are no good. She follows them to their camp, waits until they drink themselves unconscious, then slips off the elephant’s chain. And this is how she finds herself on the streets of Chiang Mai, Thailand, “in the company of a fugitive elephant.”

So begins the adventure in “Tua and the Elephant,” by R. P. Harris and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo. Tua’s story follows one of the great traditions of children’s literature by dispensing quickly with potentially pesky parents. Tua doesn’t appear to have a father, and her mother, doting but overwhelmed, leaves for an evening shift at work within a couple of pages. Left to her own devices, Tua dashes off to Chiang Mai’s popular Night Market, where familiar and loving people ensure Tua is well fed, entertained and parented in absentia.

Harris’s description of the Night Market is an early high point among many providing a glimpse into the tastes, sights and sounds of Thailand.

Read more HERE, and I hope you buy you kids, “Tua and the Elephant”.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/books/review/tua-and-the-elephant-by-r-p-harris.html

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May 12, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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