• Maine Student Book Award Master List
  • ALSC Notables Nominee
  • New York Public Library: 100 Books for Reading and Sharing


World Book Day – August Picks

“Let the creators of Cloud Tea Monkeys take you back to medieval Mongolia in this captivating story gem about family, danger, banditry and kite-flying.”


“From the beautifully designed cover, to the carefully framed illustrations and the page decorations, the artist’s palette echoing and emphasising the desert landscape of the Road, the whole is a visual pleasure. This is a story to be shared, to be read aloud. The prose is unforced and direct. Together with the two previous titles by these authors this is a book to give and own.” Recommended. 

Books For Keeps  (5 stars)

 “A touching story set in medieval Mongolia, about a lonely young boy who desperately wants the approval of his remote father. This beautifully illustrated and compelling tale is also a fascinating portrait of another culture and another time.”



“Carnegie Medal winner Peet and Graham team up again (Mysterious Traveler, illustrated by P.J. Lynch, 2013) to tell the tale of how a boy with a mischievous streak and love for handcrafted kites helps keep his han, his home along Asia’s Silk Road, from danger.      “Benson’s pen-and-watercolor illustrations bring out the complexities of Yazul’s relationships, from Grandfather’s bold colors to simple, sepia-toned lines for Yazul’s father. A treasured broken dish showing the history of Yazul’s ancestors draws readers in with its poignant shards.”

“This dazzling, heartwarming story excites, soars and redefines “go fly a kite.””


“In Patrick Benson’s dramatic yet subtly rendered watercolor illustrations, we see the mounted attackers, “fierce men with beards greased into rattails, swords sheathed on their backs, bows hanging from their saddles.” As water and food run low, Yazul realizes that the very mischief that got him into trouble could be the means of saving them all—and of winning back his father’s esteem. This vivid and emotionally resonant adventure from the husband-and-wife authors of “Cloud Tea Monkeys” (2010) reads equally well aloud or alone.”

Wall Street Journal

Peet and Graham, who most recently collaborated on Mysterious Traveler, add to their library of tales about children from other times and places with this story about Yazul, a boy who lives along the Silk Road.

Benson’s (North) pen-and-watercolor portraits concentrate on details of costume and culture, lingering on Yazul’s peaked boots and upturned cap. The result is an adventure that, despite its distant setting, makes it clear that Yazul is not very different from the readers of his story.”

Publishers Weekly

This rich, engaging story is a welcome addition to historical fiction, introducing life along the Silk Road. … The writing is wonderfully descriptive, creating a realistic setting, a quick-moving plot, and sympathetic characters with minimal text. Throughout the book, watercolor illustrations perfectly complement the action while providing additional plot and historical details that allow readers to imagine more fully the time and place. … The uniqueness of the story and its setting make it a wonderful offering for readers looking for a far-flung, adventure-filled story.”

School Library Journal

This nicely designed and illustrated volume offers a story with broad appeal. … Created with pen and watercolor, Benson’s detailed illustrations help readers envision Yazul’s world. A well-knit story that reads aloud beautifully.”


“There’s an old-fashioned flavor to this long-ago-and-far-away tale… The trickster elements of the story will intrigue readers.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books