This is a book topical in more than one way. The cover is enticing with the illustrations of the snow palace, and the protagonists of the story, is cool.
Keshav is a nine year old who seems to be enjoying a vacation from school. A summer vacation as the introduction, suggests oppressive weather!!
As is typical for most of us, come summer and it is so common to let off the grumblings regarding the sweltering heat and the discomfort of sweating. Mama is in that mood, too.
Keshav is amusing himself browsing through the Altas and looking for cool places he can suggest to his mother for a visit. He wants to see snow!!
‘Where can we go?’ his mother asks.
‘Why not Tibet, he asks his mother, it is the roof of the world. We could touch the clouds when we get there’ he says in excitement.
The mother informs him that Lobsang, the little girl next door, comes from Tibet.
'How come.' he wonders? Conversation follows between mother and son and Keshav decides to visit Lobsang, Atlas in hand and explore Tibet. He has just discovered that Tibet is not a free country and that little Lobsang and her older sister had to flee to India leaving their parents behind in Tibet.
Curiosity, subtle empathy and child like fantasy make for the rest of the story, where Lobsang sees herself as the daughter of the Snow King, not without the tinge of anguish that she displays when she expresses the hope to see her father again!
The illustrations are apt for the age that the book relates to. They are expressive and express some important views that Tibetans experience in their stay in India as refugees waiting for the day when they would return to their homeland as free citizens!!
A must read for everyone who would like to spread an awareness of this 21st century reality about a the roof of the world.