Run, Little Chaski!: An Inka Trail Adventure

May 2021. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781646861644; pap. $8.99. ISBN 9781646861651; Spanish ed. ISBN 9781646862177.
K-Gr 3–On Little Chaski’s first day delivering messages, he must take a khipu bearing an important message from the Qoya (Queen) to the Inka (King). Little Chaski is nervous as he tries to deliver the missive before the sun sets, but as he runs through the Inka Trail, he bumps into numerous animals that cause him to stop—a chinchilla who needs help after hurting its leg, an allqu who falls into the river, and a condor trapped in a bush. As he races to the temple, he doesn’t realize that the khipu has fallen somewhere on the trail. At the last moment, the animals Little Chaski has helped along the way arrive with the lost khipu, and also bring to Little Chaski approval from the King, who rewards him for his kindness with a special name. From the start, young readers will be filled with anticipation for Little Chaski as he races against time to deliver his message. Beautiful illustrations inspired by Peruvian folk art fill each page, bringing to life the beauty of the Inka culture. Quechua words are sprinkled throughout. A glossary and additional information about the Inka and South American animals accompany the text. Chaski is brown-skinned and Indigenous.
VERDICT An excellent addition to picture book collections, providing a wonderful introduction to and a celebration of the Inka that will pull readers in from the start.

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