Friday, November 2, 2012
illustrated by Jamel Akib
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux | 2003
It is the end of the dry season in an Indian city and a young girl and her family await the monsoon rains that will wash away the dust and bring renewed life. As they go from home to market to the streets, they wish and hope that the rains will come soon and in just the right amount. Too little rain means difficulty as does too much.
Akib's soft drawings are perfect for both the mood and topic of the book. The family includes the protagonist, a young girl and her younger brother, mother, father, and grandmother. They live in a modern, upper-middle-class home and wear a mixture of Western and traditional Indian clothing. The book introduces a weather phenomenon most American children won't be familiar with and places it in a place that looks both familiar and foreign at the same time.
On the copyright page a brief, helpful glossary explains a few Hindi words not defined in the text. This is a lovely book. Don't miss it's quiet and graceful story.