The International Yeti Collective – Paul Mason

Illustrations – Katy Riddell

Spoilers Ahead!

Ella is excited to be spending time in the Himalayas with Jack, her famous uncle, during the school holidays. Accompanied by a small film crew, they’re determined to track down the elusive yeti and then share their incredible find with the world.

Tick is a yeti who knows, like all yeti do, to stay far away from humans. Curiosity gets the better of him though and he can’t resist a quick peek at these strange creatures. This decision could have dire consequences, not just for Tick but for every yeti.

“We all make mistakes in life, Tick. It’s how you respond to them that counts”

Although this story is told from both Ella and Tick’s perspectives, and Ella does play a vital role, I will remember this book as Tick’s story. I adored this yeti, from his sweet nature to his “idea flies”, which manage to both cause trouble and help him. Tick’s story proves that we can live beyond our labels.

“If we are not true to ourselves, young yeti, then we are nothing.”

Humans and yeti aren’t the only creatures you’ll find in this book. I was quite partial to a yak called Shaan. I learned of the existence of a bird with the best rainbow of feathers I’ve ever Googled: the Himalayan monal. Then there was Flittermouse, the most adorable bat I’ve ever wanted to befriend.

I loved learning about yeti history and culture. The lighting system in their setts was ingenious – they clap to wake the glow worms! I smiled each time it happened. I especially enjoyed learning the fun, descriptive yeti names, which included “Nosh (she who makes nibbles)” and “Crisp (he baked in the sun)”. I never tired of their varied greetings; my favourites were “Even a tiny star shines in the dark” and “One shall not reach the top of a mountain by sitting on the bottom”.

By thinking outside the box and being open to new ideas, characters in this book learn that just because something has always been done a certain way that doesn’t automatically mean it’s the only (or best) way to do it. When you are brave enough to try something new the results can be amazing, even if it can be scary in the beginning.

There’s an overarching theme of conservation which plays out throughout this story. While the message was clear, I never felt like I was being hit over the head with it. I appreciated Ella having the strength to speak her truth to adults and loved that her voice made a difference. It’s empowering for kids (and anyone, really) to read about characters who stand up for what they believe in.

My main niggle was Jack’s turnaround near the end of the book. While it was inevitable and I’m very glad it happened, he changed his tune too quickly for me to find it believable. Having said that though, I’m not this book’s target audience and doubt I would have quibbled about it had I encountered this book as a child.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Stripes Publishing, an imprint of Little Tiger Group, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

An epic adventure with big feet and an even bigger heart!

Ella is in the Himalayas with her uncle searching for yeti. But what seems like the adventure of a lifetime is cut short when she realises that these secretive creatures might not want to be found.

Tick knows it’s against yeti law to approach humans. So when some arrive on the mountain, why does he find himself peering through the trees to get a closer look?

What Tick doesn’t know is that his actions will set off a series of events that threaten the existence of yeti all over the world. What can he do to make things right? Just when all hope seems lost, help comes in the most unexpected form …

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