Tashi and the Wicked Magician

and other stories

Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg
AUD $19.99

Come with Tashi and his friend Jack on four fabulous adventures of mystery and magic. In this classic storybook, Tashi tells tales of courage and daring, and each story features a beautiful colour illustration.

Tashi is bold and clever, and tells the best stories ever!

There's a Magnificent Magician with a greedy plan, a haunted house about to go up in flames, ruthless ruffians after a rare orchid, and a quest for the bravest person in the land to face the fire-breathing Red Whiskered Dragon.

'All children should meet Tashi. He can be their mentor on the road to reading, feeding their imaginations with fantastic stories.' Magpies

Author bio:

When Anna Fienberg was little, her mother, Barbara, read lots of stories to her. At bedtime they would travel to secret places in the world, through books. The Tashi stories began when Barbara was telling Anna how she used to tell whoppers when she was a child. Creative fibs. Tall stories. And kids would crowd around her, dying to hear the latest tale. Together they talked about a character like Barbara - someone who told fantastic stories - and over many cups of tea they cooked up Tashi.

As well as having his own series, Tashi appears in two splendid picture books, illustrated by Kim Gamble: There Once Was a Boy Called Tashi and Once Tashi Met a Dragon.

Category: Picture books
ISBN: 9781743315088
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: A & U Children
Pub Date: November 2014
Page Extent: 96
Format: Hard Cover
Age: 5 - 8
Subject: Picture books

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Teachers reviews

Anna and Barbara have written many Tashi stories in paperback format; this book is a hardcover book with a beautiful cover containing four short stories, the last being in two parts.Jack and Tashi are schoolmates and good friends. One day at school, Jack shows Tashi his ‘magic’ wallet that spurts out flames when it is opened. Fortunately, they disappear upon shutting the wallet. This, of course, sparks Tashi’s imagination and at break Tashi regales Jack with a tale of a magician. Tashi and his family have been given tickets to a magician’s show. Tashi is seated in the front row and is called up on stage as a volunteer. He sees into the magician’s eyes, suspects evil intent and uncovers the deception in the magic. Tashi follows the magician who uses hypnosis to steal valuables. Tashi becomes the hero of the story and thwarts the plot. Tashi is invited to go camping with Jack and his family. Around a camp fire at night is a perfect time and place for stories. Tashi does not disappoint and is in his element entertaining them with stories. Tashi, shows bravery and heroism thwarting the plans of rare orchid thieves, saving children from a burning house and getting rid of the fire-breathing Red Whiskered Dragon that has been eating up the village.The stories average 20 pages and are simple enough for 8 to 11-year-olds to read for themselves.Younger children would enjoy the stories being read aloud as they are full of adventure and magic.This book will encourage creative writing in students. The stories create a sense wonder in children, spark their imagination and encourage them to create stories in their own mind.
Nova Gibson, Librarian, Massey Primary Auckland NZ

Anne Fienberg has written over 16 Tashi stories since the series began in 1995. There is also a great website with games, information on all the characters and ideas for teachers on how to use Tashi stories in the classroom as well. This website would be good a great place for children to escape to with their imaginations and to learn more about Tashi.This is the first Tashi book I have read and I enjoyed it thoroughly, the stories were well planned out and the adventures were fun and exciting.I found there was a good range of stories which numbered five in total, which could be shared in a classroom over a period of weeks with students. The language was excellent with good themes and the pictures were wonderfully illustrated. An idea for class use could be to artistically imagine and create the characters from the book. The imagination required from the reader could take children to wonderful settings and great adventures and this is what books should do.I personally enjoyed the wicked magician story: “My friends and I borrowed all the books on magic from the school library – there was only four – and tried magic tricks out on our families.” This story was fast paced and children would really enjoy this one. Being in a library would be a great way to introduce students where to look for books on subjects like magic.Suitable for 5 to 8-year-olds.
Felecia Phillips, Library Technician & Home Education Service Co-ordinator, Tasmanian eSchool TAS

This beautiful hardcover book contains four stories, the last being in two parts. Tashi and Jack are good friends and one day at school Jack shows Tashi his ‘magic’ wallet. When it is opened, flames shoot out. At recess, Tashi regales Jack with a tale of the time he encountered a magician. Tashi has been given tickets to a magic show but when Tashi goes up on stage as a volunteer, he sees in the magician’s eyes evil intent and uncovers one of his secrets. Tashi follows the magician who uses hypnosis to steal valuables. Tashi, of course shows bravery and saves the day.Tashi is invited to go camping with Jack and his family. After a day of fishing, what better setting to tell stories than around a camp fire? Tashi thwarts the plans of rare orchid thieves, saves people from a burning house and gets rid of the fire-breathing Red Whiskered Dragon for the frightened villagers.Each story includes a beautiful colour picture depicting one of the scenes in the story. The stories average 18-20 pages and the language used is simple enough for 8 to 12-year-olds to enjoy reading them for themselves.Younger children would enjoy the stories being read to them by a teacher or parent.I would use these stories to encourage creative writing in students. These stories will create a sense of magic and wonder in children, encouraging them to create fantasies in their own mind, let their imaginations run riot and write their own ‘magical’ stories.
Claire Cheeseman, Teacher of Years 4/5, Laingholm Primary NZ

In 1P this year, we read the book Tashi and the Wicked Magician. It was a funny book about Tashi and his friends and their adventures. The book had lots of words and was a little hard and so Mrs Palmer read it to 1P.

“Tashi and the Wicked Magician was good because it has lots of words in it and it was a hard book.” Randy.
“What I liked about Tashi and the Wicked Magician was the part with the white tiger. I did not like the part about the basement because the gold was stuck in there.” Alicia
“I liked the part when the magician hypnotised the man and he put the gold in the wheelbarrow.” Ann Thien
“I like the book because it was exciting and fun to hear and because when the magician asked someone to stand up when he hypnotised them.” Justin
“I liked the funny parts when we all laughed at the characters.” Phoebe
“My favourite part of Tashi and the Wicked Magician was when Tashi was scared of the white tiger.” Harrison

We would recommend this book to other classes because it was a great story. It was funny, exciting and interesting.
Narelle Adams, Teacher Librarian, Smithfield West Public School, Wetherill Park

If I were asked to name one of the most popular series for newly independent readers that has endured over my time as both a teacher and a teacher librarian, I would undoubtedly answer, Tashi. And just as Miss 8 has reluctantly come to the end of reading the series, a new one is released much to our delight!Unlike the previous titles in the series, this has not two but five separate stories in it, each one featuring that delightful little character who is so clever, resourceful and brave as he confronts fearsome opponents set on destroying his village and his peace. This time there's a magician with a greedy plan, a haunted house about to go up in flames, ruthless ruffians after a rare orchid, and a quest for the bravest person in the land to face the fire-breathing Red Whiskered Dragon.Also unlike the previous titles, this one is in hardback not paperback and the illustrations are in colour rather than the monochromatic ones we are used to. But regardless of the differences, Tashi is the same little hero we know and love and whether this is another in the series, as it is for Miss 8, or the first time a child has met him, he will become a friend for life.

Back in the days when I was co-ordinating Read Around Australia I ran a book rap based on all the Tashi novels published at the time. Small groups of students selected one story and had to write a synopsis and then pose a series of questions that would challenge the thinking of other students around Australia who had to answer them. What they discovered was that each story threw up a number of ethical questions that could be discussed and debated and so they became so much more than an introduction to fantasy and an easy read. These new stories are similar – is saving the greedy Baron’s treasure a worthy cause worth risking your life for? For those of you wanting to start your year off with something special, then check out A Flight of Fantasy, a unit of work based on the series and available for free through the National Digital Learning Resources Network. Log into your Scootle account and search for R11582.  It’s written for Years 5/6 but can easily be adapted for younger students. Tashi and the Wicked Magician and Other Stories could be just the very thing you have been looking for to give students a great kick start to the year and have them buzzing about reading in the library for the rest of it.
Barbara Braxton, Teacher Librarian, Cooma NSW

Jack and Tashi are school friends who share many, many stories. Whilst Tashi is the master story teller, Jack often takes over his role, knowing the stories almost as well as their creator. Containing stories about evil magicians, burning houses, rare and valuable orchids and acts of bravery, this slim and elegant volume of four stories is varied and accessible to younger readers. Each tale is brief, containing only about fifteen pages and including a full colour illustration which depicts the characters and settings perfectly. There are a number of smaller illustrations to begin each chapter as well. These just break up the sections and provide colour and interest throughout the book.
The authors have written some thirty stories about Tashi and his adventures and captivated the imaginations of many young readers through their pages. I well recall my own son, now twenty, as an emergent reader. He had been given a Big Book of Tashi as a gift and was excited at being able to read such a big book alone. The mixture of engaging story lines and detailed colour illustrations makes these books a must own.

In the classroom, this book would be perfect as a read aloud for children in years 2 to 4. Children could then be encouraged to write their own adventure stories or to create some more intriguing characters to fit another Tashi story. The morals or messages behind the tales could also be considered. As with the other Tashi books, I am sure this copy will rarely be found on the library shelves. It is more likely to be on constant loan!
Jo Schenkel, Pilgrim School SA

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