Reviews /

Tenzing Norgay

Authored by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Illustrated by Bandana Tulachan
Published by Quarto Publishing PLC

Tagged , , ,

The Little People, Big Dreams series is well-established, and will be familiar to many children and adults alike. Pitched at younger readers (I always think Y2/3 is a great place to start), but equally accessible to older children, they are a fantastic resource to learn about people who have made a difference. Often, there are names that children will already be familiar with; but frequently, titles celebrate the lives of people who are perhaps less well-known.

Learning about Mount Everest through its geography is commonplace in primary schools. Often, children are taught about the scale of human achievement related to it: Sir Edmund Hillary will likely be a name that is mentioned when teaching. Thanks to Alexandra Stewart and Joe Todd-Stanton’s wonderful book, Everest, Tenzing Norgay is also given his fair share of the limelight. Here, he has his own biography to celebrate his amazing life.

As with all books in the series, the text is accessible and is almost secondary to the illustrations across each double-spread. I am sure it is a deliberate choice that a Nepalese illustrator has been approached to light up this book, and Bandana Tulachan’s work is a joyous celebration of Tenzing Norgay’s life.

The scale of Norgay’s achievement in summitting Everest is representative of his attitudes of resilience, determination and perseverance. What great characteristics to be talking to our children about. We learn of a man who had a dream, one that was dashed on numerous occasions, but he continued to show a positive attitude. And even then, he experienced more failure – a lesson to us all when times are hard.

We often hear of mountaineers and explorers who achieve, but without the Sherpa people, and those such as Tenzing Norgay, this would be nigh on impossible.

To finish, the line that sums up the book best – and probably Tenzing himself: ‘…they were all just human beings helping one another.’ If only there was more of this in the world.