‘The kind of book you wish your parents had read to you as a child. An emotionally intelligent, absorbing adventure that carries at its heart the most wonderful message of being at one with nature. Are you YETI for this?’
Title: The International Yeti Collective
Author: Paul Mason
Illustrator: Katy Riddell (@RiddellKaty)
Publisher: Stripes (@StripesBooks)
Page count: 288
Date of publication: 17th October 2019
Series status: N/A
Perfect for Year 5 and Year 6.
1. Yeti 👹
2. Friendship 🤝
3. Nature 🏔️
We’re stronger together than apart. Particularly at times like this, when danger lands at our feet.
Ella is on a yeti-hunting expedition in the Himalayas with her uncle Jack, a celebrity explorer. She’s expecting an amazing trip, but nothing more. Everyone knows that yeti don’t exist.
Tick is a young yeti who can’t help but ask questions. What is beyond the mountain he calls home? Are humans really as bad as everyone says they are?
When Tick’s curiosity sets off a chain of events that threatens the entire yeti community, Ella is swept up in the adventure. Can the unlikely pair work together to protect the yeti before it’s too late?
They’re going to need help. Help from The International Yeti Collective.
As Ella Stern whiles away her time on an expedition with her uncle Jack in the middle of the Himalayas, she’s in a world of her own dreaming up headlines of encountering the mystical and magical Yeti. Unfortunately for her, the yeti have been proven to not exist and all previous encounters judged as fake… so it becomes a bit of a pipe dream for her in more ways than one.
Nevertheless, unperturbed by this, her Uncle Jack is intent on filming his latest nature show in the middle of the mountain range. Making sure all the camera shots are happening, the crew set up various cameras in particular hotspots and it’s only upon checking the last reel of film (and the scent of a ‘barnyard that hasn’t been cleaned in ages’) does Ella realise that they may have come across exactly what they’ve been searching for.
On the flip side of this story however is Tick, a young yeti. Unfortunately for him, he’s extra curious after learning that his mother wanted to find out more about humans and you know what they say with curiosity killing the
cat yeti and as a result of this, his yeti community put him in front of their Elders for further questioning and thanks to their decision, they banish him from their collective and sett, and in turn set Tick and Ella off on the wildest chain of events…
Told through this double narrative, this is an emotionally intelligent, absorbing adventure that carries at its heart the most wonderful message of being at one with nature. Perfect for fans of H. S. Norup, Sinéad O’Hart and Abi Elphinstone… this is the kind of book you wish your parents had read to you as a child. One of my absolute favourite reads of the year.
Are you YETI for this?
P.S. After reading this, I discovered (or made up!) my own yeti name – Page (he who must read).
Meet the Author – Paul Mason
I’m delighted to welcome Paul Mason, author of the International Yeti Collective to The Reader Teacher to answer questions about his book and some quick-fire questions!
- Can you sum up The International Yeti Collective in a paragraph?
When young yeti Tick leads a group of humans to his front door, the yeti are forced to flee. In their panic, the ancient yeti slabs are abandoned—soon finding their way into human hands. If the slabs are deciphered, every Yeti, Sasquatch and Bigfoot will be in danger, not to mention their vital role in helping the Earth. Now Tick and his friends must set off on a quest to rescue the slabs before it’s too late. Along the way they get help from an unexpected source…
- What were your favourite books when you were growing up?
Anything Roald Dahl, but Danny the Champion of the World is my pick. The closeness between Danny and his dad is heart-warming.
- What are the three main things a reader will find in your books?
Paper, ink and words—words like kerfuffle.
- Did you always want to be a writer? Have you had different jobs before you were an author? Do you think a variety of work experiences has helped you to write?
I started writing for enjoyment and thinking I could be a writer when I was in high school and college, but I lost sight of it over the years. Then when I became a Dad and a teacher, I rediscovered my joy in telling stories. In between, I’ve carried antique furniture, covered lots of ground in restaurants and been a primary school teacher. All part of who I am–but my years as a teacher really influenced my writing.
- Where do you get your ideas from, and how do you store them?
As Roald Dahl says: “watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets lie in the most unlikely places.” I carry around a little black book and a fountain pen to catch them before they disappear.
- The environment and conservation are main themes in The International Yeti Collective. Do you think storytelling is an effective medium for getting people engaged in real-world issues?
I hope so. My aim in The International Yeti Collective and some of my short stories is to get readers to consider and appreciate the things we have in nature, and what’s at stake if we lose it.
- How much of Paul Mason is reflected in your characters?
Tall, big feet, a good set of teeth. I could be a yeti.
- You are in a library with a 12-year-old who claims that they don’t like reading… Which 3 books would you reach for to try to change their mind?
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and Holes by Louis Sachar.
- What’s the best and worst things about being an author?
The best thing is that I get to play with words and tell stories. Working with amazing illustrators like Katy Riddell is also a real privilege. Seeing my characters come alive through pictures—wow! The worst thing? The times of self-doubt when I can hardly seem to string a sentence together.
- Do you have any advice for budding writers?
Read often. Write often. Watch the world. Tell your stories. You have a voice like no other, it’s important you share it.
- 3 words that describe you:
Tall, friendly, humorous (or so my daughter says.)
- Favourite time of the day?
Climbing into bed at the end of the day is pretty hard to beat.
- 3 random facts about you:
I live on a small island. Spike Milligan once wrote me a letter. A 150 year old leather boot sits on my desk.
- Go-to snack?
Prawn cocktail crisps.
- The best advice you ever got:
To thine own self be true: Shakespeare via my Dad.
- “If I could go anywhere in the world right now, I’d head for…”
In the stands on the halfway line at the Arsenal, just in time for kick-off.
- “If I could time-travel, I’d set the counter for the year …
Somewhere around AD 170,
Because… To pick the brains of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. I might have to learn some Latin first.
- An easy way to be a bit more green:
Cut down on food waste. Help your family plan meals. Buy only what you need.
- Your dream place to curl up with a book?
The sofa in front of a crackling fire, with Kipling my cat on my lap.
- The 3 books you’d like to get for your next birthday:
The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt by Andrea Wulf and Lillian Melcher; Adventures of a Young Naturalist by Sir David Attenborough; Art Matters by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell.
Big thanks to Paul, Katy, Leilah and all the team at Stripes Books for inviting me to kick off The International Yeti Collective blog tour and for involving me in this book’s release all the way along from proof to finished copy, including having my quote wonderfully published within it. This means the world!
Extra thanks to Paul for answering these questions!