Thukpa for All

Karadi Tales. Oct. 2019. 48p. Tr $13.95. ISBN 9788193388983.
K-Gr 3–Tsering listens to the sounds around him as he sweeps his stick left and right on the trek home. As he walks, the boy hums a tune: “Hot, hot thukpa/Hearty, chunky thukpa/Yummy, spicy thukpa.” Along the way, he meets people whom he recognizes by the sounds they make, inviting them to join him and Abi, his grandmother, for the delicious noodle soup. Tsering helps his Abi gather additional ingredients. As their guests gather, each brings ingredients to be used in the delicious soup, assuring that there’s plenty for all. Tsering’s ability to maneuver in the dark allows the food preparation to continue in spite of losing electricity. Just in time, however, the lights come back on and the feast resumes. Alliteration and a bit of onomatopoeia are used to describe Tsering’s travels, subtly noting his blindness and how he interacts with his environment. Colorful, childlike illustrations complement the telling, revealing a rather remote locale and culture. A brief author’s note describes the region in which the story is set (Ladkahi is located in central India) as well as a short glossary. A tasty-sounding recipe for Tibetan thukpa is also included in this unique and engaging story that would pair well with Oge Mora’s Thank You, Omu!.
VERDICT An appealing introduction to a part of the world that’s underrepresented in picture books.

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