I love children’s books. I can’t even imagine NOT loving one. As an adult *ugh* society requires us to read adult things, which I also do, and love doing, but reading a children’s book just feels like coming home. So when I got a request to read Ti and the Magical Key, I said yes rightaway! Even though I technically didn’t have any time to start a new book right now, I was like: children’s book mkay.
The Goodreads summary:
In search of the magical key the young boy Ti encounters many exciting adventures. Together with his friend, a 95 years old sea turtle, they travel to breathtaking beaches and mysterious places. This thrilling journey leads them to an abandoned town where another riddle awaits them.
A wonderful story about friendship, courage and happiness, with images that make you want to pack your travel bag.
I have to say this sounds a little more adventurous than it really was for me, BUT I think that’s mainly due to it being extremely fast paced. Then again, what else can you expect when the physical copy is only 36 pages long.
The story starts off with a gathering of the ancient high gods of the Mayans:
They just discovered that Kukulkan(basically the evil God) will be returning soon, searching for the key that can give him ultimate power, and they come up with a plan:
“I have to diffuse the power of THE KEY. The danger of theft is just too great,”Itzamna murmured to himself as he started punching smaller keys out of the original one so that only the frame remained. The small keys he handed to the great Shaman Tat instructing him, “Leave Chichen Itza and hide each key in a different location so that under no circumstances can Kukulkan find them.”
Many, many moons later, Kukulkan returns, finds the frame and gets furious about the keys being hidden from him. We then meet Ti, the grandson of the great Shaman Tat. He soon appears to be the One to unite the keys again and with it, posess the power to bring happiness to all creatures. And so his quest begins!
I think this is a lovely story to read to kids in the age range of 5-8 years old. Or they can read it themselves of course, but I can imagine the use of language for American kids (regarding the Yucatec names) will be a bit hard for them to grasp sometimes. I’m not saying they should’ve changed those names of course; sticking to the Mayan folklore is a bonus even! The illustrations are wonderfully colourful and a joy to the eye! Which is exactly why I don’t think this book is very suitable to read on an e-reader. I read it on my Kindle the first time, but it really took out the sparkles you can find in the PDF-version, let alone a physical copy! I can’t put my finger on it, but I also think the cover really doesn’t do the other illustrations any justice. But that might just be me!
Another thing which felt a little dissapointing to me was the abrupt ending. And if I’M dissapointed, I can imagine a 6-year old having a temper tantrum over it, not knowing how that particular part of the story is going to end. Luckily for them, the second part in the series will be out soon!
Last, but not least, as a former History student, I loved the Mayan folklore in this book. It inspired me to snoop around on the interwebz for more information on the Mayan gods. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Maya_gods_and_supernatural_beings is an interesting link to start with!
I’m giving this book 3 brownies (I’m using the Goodreads rating system by the way, meaning I liked it). Also, sea turtles are awesome. The authors try to bring more awareness to the endangered species by working locally with turtle organizations who are using the book to educate children on the protection of the turtles. They dedicated a wonderful section to it on their website: http://www.tiandthemagicalkey.com/environment.html
Go check it out!
P.s.- The second book will educate about Mangroves and introduces the sinkholes in the Riviera Maya, so thumbs up for the authors oncemore!