Cloud Tea Monkeys. By Mal Peet & Elspeth Graham. Illustrated by Juan Wijngaard. 2010. [February 2010.] Candlewick Press. 56 pages.
One by one, the familiar sounds of morning drew Tashi from her sleep: her mother breathing life into the fire, the hiss and crackle of the twigs as the flames caught, the whispering of the soot-blackened kettle as the water came to the boil.
Tashi's mother picks tea leaves by hand at the tea plantations. Tashi, her young daughter, accompanies her each day. As her mother and the other women of the village work all the day, Tashi slips quietly away to visit her monkey friends, to share her lunch with them. But when illness threatens--her mother's illness--Tashi must find some way to survive. Without the money earned by picking tea, how can they live? She is too young, too small to pick tea herself. At least that's what everyone believes. Can Tashi find a way?
This one is a short novel based on a centuries-old legend of tea-picking monkeys.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews