Readers who’ve never been to Mumbai will want to visit while those who love it will smile.

THE MOUNTAINS OF MUMBAI

An ode to urbanism and a love letter to India’s largest city.

When Doma, from Ladakh, a special administrative region in the disputed territory of Kashmir, visits her friend Veda in Mumbai, she misses the mountains of her home. “Tell me something,” asks Veda. “Do the mountains have to be exactly like the ones in Ladakh? Big, brown triangles?” Doma is incredulous; how else would a mountain look? Veda takes her friend by the hand and leads her on a tour of the megalopolis featuring views of both rooftops and a city street from above. Veda takes Doma up a seemingly endless spiral staircase and onto a terrace, from which the pair looks out on Marine Drive, a promenade and beach abutting the Arabian Sea. “Yes! Yes! Yes! We are on top of a mountain in Mumbai,” Doma cheers. Jain’s watercolor paintings are vivid and detailed, reveling in the bustle of the city. The unusual trim—double-page spreads measure 7 inches high by 28 inches wide—gives a sense of sweeping panoramas. One particularly effective spread demands a 90-degree turn of the book to fully appreciate the staircase the girls ascend. Veda and Doma’s journey is punctuated with recognizable landmarks (e.g., the Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge), making this an excellent book for the armchair traveler as well.

Readers who’ve never been to Mumbai will want to visit while those who love it will smile. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-81-936542-9-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Karadi Tales

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in.

AT THE OLD HAUNTED HOUSE

A Halloween book that rides on the rhythms of “Over in the Meadow.”

Although Halloween rhyming counting books abound, this stands out, with a text that begs to be read aloud and cartoony digital illustrations that add goofy appeal. A girl and two boys set off on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating. As the children leave the cozy, warm glow of their street, readers see a haunted house on a hill, with gravestones dotting the front yard. Climbing the twisty path to the dark estate takes time, so the story turns to the antics inside the house. “At the old haunted house in a room with no sun / lived a warty green witch and her wee witch one. ‘SPELL!’ cried the witch. ‘POOF!’ cried the one. / And they both practiced spells in the room with no sun.” The actions of the scary creatures within may seem odd, but the rhyme must go on: Cats scratch, goblins dust, monsters stir, and mummies mix. Eventually the three kids reach the front door and are invited in for stew, cake and brew. At first shocked by the gruesome fare, the children recover quickly and get caught up in partying with the slightly spooky but friendly menagerie.

A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4769-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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