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Friday, May 15, 2009

Review: Monsoon Afternoon by Kashmira Sheth and Yoshiko Jaeggi

Title: Monsoon Afternoon
Author: Kashmira Sheth
Illustrator: Yoshiko Jaeggi
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Pages: 32
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (September 1, 2008)
Genre: Children's Book
Edition: Hardback - Many thanks to Peachtree Publishers for sending me a copy to review for Children's Book Week!

Perfect for : Personal reading, children's story time, gift book

In a nutshell: Kashmira Sheth has written a wonderful children's book that explores the monsoon rains in India, and one boy's desire to play outside in the rain. He has a very special relationship with his Dadaji (grandfather), who helps him make paper boats and then goes outside to play, while sharing memories from his own childhood. The story explores the familial relationships the boy has, as well as local customs and facts in India. The author has included a wonderful two-page write-up of growing up in India and experiencing the monsoon season. The illustrations within the book are stunning watercolors. Each page is full-color and provides parents with plenty of things to discuss in addition to the story: family, culture, customs, etc. This is a heart-warming story that is sure to be enjoyed by the entire family.

Extended Review:
Characters: I loved the inclusion of Dadaji (grandfather) and Dadima (grandmother) in the boys life. The relationship he had with them is precious, and it was easy to see how much they loved and respected each other.

Story-Line: This story will give readers a timeless glimpse into the culture and customs of India, as well as a look into one loving family.

Illustrations: The full-page beautifully detailed watercolor illustrations are absolutely stunning, and Yoshiko Jaeggi has been able to portray such depth of emotion in the characters' faces as they share special moments together.

Readability: An easy-to-read story for the entire family.

Overall: A wonderful book for the entire family. Kashmira Sheth and Yoshiko Jaeggi have created a wonderful family among the words and illustrations to help share both the culture and customs of India in this heart-warming and informative book.

From the Publisher:
This warm, multigenerational story offers a glimpse into the distinctive culture and customs of India, while reinforcing universal themes of love and the importance of family.

It is monsoon season in India. Outside, dark clouds roll in and the rain starts to fall. As animals scatter to find cover, a young boy and his dadaji (grandfather) head out into the rainy weather.

The two sail paper boats. They watch the peacocks dance in the rain, just as the colorful birds did when Dadaji was a boy. They pick mangoes and Dadaji lifts up his grandson so he can swing on the roots of the banyan tree, just as Dadaji did when he was young. Finally, when the two return home, hot tea and a loving family are waiting.

Author Kashmira Sheth’s affectionate, sensitive story provides a look into Indian life and the shared moments and memories that bind generations together. Illustrator Yoshiko Jaeggi’s colorful and fanciful watercolor illustrations recreate the lush Indian landscape during monsoon season, and capture the bond of love that unites a grandfather and his grandson.

About the Author: (from the publisher's site)
Kashmira Sheth is the author of the award-winning young adult novels Blue Jasmine and Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet. She lives in Wisconsin.

You can visit Kashmira Sheth's website at: www.kashmirasheth.typepad.com

Yoshiko Jaeggi's work has appeared in Cricket Magazine. She lives in Maryland.

If you have reviewed this book and would like me to add a link to your review, please include a link in your comment!


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