Today is my stop on the blog tour for Travels With Sushi in The Land of The Mind by Edward Shyfrin. When I saw the title of this book, I just knew I needed to read it! What an absolutely perfect middle grade book for everyone to enjoy! It was so adorable and intriguing; it was heart-warning and full of wonder and adventures. I particularly love the imaginative world and how mysterious it feels! The characters are so loveable and full of hearts. I had so much fun reading it and cannot wait to read this to my little one too!
Today I have an extract for you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and please go check out Travels With Sushi in The Land of The Mind!
While on holiday, sharing an evening meal with their family in their favourite Japanese restaurant, Aaron and Stella doze off and awaken to find themselves in the mysterious Land of the Mind. A world in turmoil, the Land of the Mind is being pulled apart by warring factions who have it teetering on edge of complete destruction. Chosen by an invisible Supreme Ruler, it is up to Aaron and Stella to bring order back to this world by recovering the ancient Book of Understanding.
Travelling through strange lands, meeting fantastic characters and pursued by the minions of the Black Queen, the forces of evil are closing in, determined to stop the children from restoring peace to this place.
Aaron and Stella realise that they are the key to the Book of Understanding’s return and that time is running out. But how can two children manage to defeat all the forces against them?
There were only two waiters in the sushi restaurant, both of whom seemed to be on the premises every day throughout the summer season, a deeply courteous Japanese man and his tiny, delicate wife, Mr and Mrs Ekaku. No matter how busy the restaurant became they never allowed their composure to be disturbed or their politeness to waver, and neither of them ever cracked a smile.
“Mr Aaron,” Mr Ekaku opened the door for them, bowing low to the children, “and Miss Stella, good to see you both again.”
The children returned the bow with equally solemn faces and then followed the adults to their usual corner table, the cushioned seats cool beneath the sun-burned backs of their legs.
“We have all worked up a good appetite on the beach, Mr Ekaku,” their grandfather said, not bothering to look at the menus standing on the table. “Will you bring us your usual selection? And plenty of them.”
Mr Ekaku bowed again, “And the usual for you Mr Aaron and Miss Stella?”
“Yes please,” Aaron replied, “sixteen pieces of salmon sushi without wasabi.”
“And ten pieces of the same for me,” Stella said, “and a Coke.”
“And a Coke for me too!” Aaron added quickly.
The grown-ups all laughed. “Are you sure you wouldn’t like to try some of the other varieties for once?” Their grandmother asked. “You might like them even better.”
“Quite sure, thank you,” the children replied in unison, as they always did whenever their grandmother asked the same question. Neither of them wanted to risk trying something new, which might not taste quite as good as the sushi they knew and loved.
More people were coming in to the tables from the beach and others, more elegantly dressed for their evenings out, were arriving from the houses that lay behind the shops. The noise levels started to rise as customers ate and drank and laughed. It was possible to see all the action going on in the steam filled kitchens at the back as the chefs ran from place to place, while Mr and Mrs Ekaku moved calmly amongst the tables, making sure that everyone was served with whatever they wanted. As the sun set, the lights glowed warmly and the well-groomed plants outside, separating the restaurant from the beach, were lit from below by softly coloured bulbs.
The children ate faster than everyone else, concentrating on the food and paying little attention to the adult conversations going on around them. They could still feel the salt from the sea-water tight on their skins and the sand in their hair and between their toes. Their growing muscles ached with a pleasant tiredness.
After an hour or so the adults were asking one another if they wanted desserts or coffee or tea before paying the bill and going home to bed. Nobody seemed able to make up their mind, when Mr Ekaku appeared from the kitchen holding a small silver tray on which stood two gold coloured pieces of sushi. He bowed down to present the children with the tray and the most delicious aroma either of them had ever experienced drifted up to their nostrils, filling their minds with warmth and tinting the busy scene around them with a kaleidoscope of different colours.
“Because you are two of our most regular customers,” Mr Ekaku said, “and because you are experts in salmon sushi, our head chef would like to present you with his latest speciality. He would value your opinion.”
Even though their stomachs were full to bursting, the children picked up one piece of soft, warm sushi each and the grown-ups asked for coffees and teas. When they placed the sushi on their tongues a thousand different flavours seemed to burst from within the tiny golden parcels. The warmth spread over them like a thick woollen blanket as they sank back into their seats to enjoy the sensation. The voices of their family and all the other diners merged together into one soothing sound, not unlike music or waves breaking on a shoreline, and the coloured lights on the plants seemed to dance before them before being engulfed by a the descending darkness.
Thank you so much Vanessa and Midas PR for gifting me this beautiful copy to review! Make sure you check out what others are saying about Travels With Sushi in The Land of The Mind!