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Asha and the Spirit Bird Reviews

Asha and the Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan

Asha & the Spirit Bird

Jasbinder Bilan

4.11 out of 5

3 reviews

Category: Children's
Imprint: Chicken House Ltd
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Publication date: 7 Feb 2019
ISBN: 9781911490197

In an unforgettable adventure set in contemporary India, Asha is guided by a majestic bird which she believes to be the spirit of her grandmother. Together with her best friend, Jeevan, she embarks on a journey across the Himalayas to find her missing father and save her home ...

1 Prize for Asha and the Spirit Bird

Costa Book Awards
2019 Shortlist

Costa Children’s Book Award

Judges: “Imaginative, magical, heartrending and hopeful.”


  • The Sunday TimesChildren's Book of the Week
4 stars out of 5
Nicolette Jones
19 Jan 2020

"an exotic journey with a feelgood ending"

 the strength of this magical realist story is its original sense of place: India in the Himalayan foothills. Eleven-year-old Asha’s mother is threatened by debt collectors after her father goes away to work. Asha faces perils in search of him, helped by her best friend Jeevan and her late grandmother’s spirit, reborn as a giant bird, a lamagaia.

4 stars out of 5
Alex O’Connell
2 Mar 2019

"Bilan creates a vivid world"

There is fire and fury, and then a happy ending — a little too neat, perhaps, with new tractors and a mango-chutney export business for Mum. Yet this is a fantastic debut and Bilan creates a vivid world in which Asha and Javeen are our firm friends.

4 stars out of 5
Kitty Empire
14 Jan 2019

"The words do justice to the pictures."

the debut from Jasbinder Bilan, winner of her publisher’s children’s fiction competition in 2017 – hits you with lush tropical artwork: namaste, illustrator Aitch and designer Helen Crawford-White.

The words do justice to the pictures. If one of the gifts of fiction is to proffer unfamiliar footwear in which to walk a while, Bilan’s story is an eye-opening adventure, with one sandalled foot in atmospheric realism and a toe-hold in the mythical.