Thursday, November 18, 2010

What Should I Make?

by Nandini Nayer
illustations by Proiti Roy
(2009)

     This book was originally published in India, in English and in Hindi.  Neeraj's mother is making dough, rolling it into chapatis and hands him some dough to play with.  Neeraj is a cute boy with hair going everywhich way and he takes that dough, uses his imagination and makes all kinds of creatures. 
"Neeraj rolled th edough back and forth, back and forth, into a long rope.  At one end of the rope, he poked two tiny eyes.  The other end became a pointed tail.  'A snake!  A snake!'"

     Even though we never see all of Neeraj's mother we can tell she is dressed in a flowing green sari and with bangles at her wrists.  She has few lines in the book as well but they are playful as she encourages him to play with the dough.  I'm happy the author choose to make the main character a boy, crossing the stereotype of girl's helping mother's in the kitchen. 

     I love the heck out of this book, especially the back section, which provides directions for making chapatis.  The recipe is simple and I think we will make them some time soon.

She's Too Fond of Books loved this book as well.


     On the other end of the spectrum we read an awful picture book during storytime.  The cover is attractive but it ends there.  This book scared Groovy Girl right before sleeping.  Should I have to preview books before bedtime? No. The illustrations are like clay puppets; think Coraline in the "other world". The second disturbing thing was the text is scrawled in cursive.  She was supposed to be reading it to me but she handed it to me and said "I can't read that!"  I said but you are learning cursive...She said "Not like that."  So I read and well, we finished it but are both unhappy for it.

  The Look Book: Two siblings are bored on summer break and their mother sends them outside.  Outside they see different things, in contrast. 
One page:
"Ann saw a whole pie." 
Next page:
"Ian saw a pie hole."

farther along:
"Ian saw a car get towed."
"Ann saw a car get a toad"  (picture of blood stained road after the car has passed)
"Ian saw a bird soar overhead"
"Ann saw a bird with a sore head." ( an axe in a stump next to a chicken head, a chicken's body running in front of Ann)
After many weird and scary homonyms they return home and tell their mother they saw nothing...there I've ruined the end for everyone.   This is a perfect book for someone with a wry or slightly twisted sense of humor. Creative-Yes, Perfect storytime book-Nay!

The images and the text are disturbing and I'm not sure who made the decision to market this for children. Boo.
If It's Hip, It's Here has another take on the book.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for linking to my review -- my younger son and I need to make chapatis again; we had fun with this!

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