CBR15Passport Different Countries (author is from India & his travels have taken him “from the tropical rainforests to the high Himalayas where he makes children’s books from his tiny studio.”)
This book, Farah Loves Mangos, has multiple feelings, but in the end, it becomes a little bittersweet. At first it seems like a lovely story of a young girl, her mangos, and her grandfather. I assumed we would have a symbolism story where the mango tree represents the grandfather, or how the tree is the memory of the grandfather, as I assumed this would be a book about grief. It then seemed like maybe Farah would have her story arc of either, the tree and her grow and the cycle of life happens, or she learns that mangos are great, but maybe not all the time. No, it takes a turn I did not see.
Sarthak Sinha shows us that the tree stops giving fruit. And Farah thinks (at first) that it just needs something. A scarf, milk (to help it grow, like her milk helps her), manure, water (and Farah waters in a unique way), and other things. But when nothing helps, and Farah is not only frustrated with her tree, but her grandfather, too for (supposedly) not helping her. Of course, we learn that the tree is a special place, and has many more opportunities to help others around them. And, of course, the grandfather was helping in his own special way.
The illustrations are sweet, funny, and at least one is a little “did they really go there?” (Think what dogs do to trees). Still, the colors are fresh, warm, bold, and cozy. The details mesh into the story making them a support feature but helping tells pieces of the story not in words. Steve Anthony, author of the Mr. Panda series said, they are “brimming with life.” That might be a bit romantic, but that also gives you that bittersweet moment I had at the end. The story is touching. Yes, there are no more mangos, but there is something else just a precious and special. And now Farah and her grandfather can do something else together, and not just eat mangos, as he made a delightful treat for Farrah to enjoy with the tree and some new friends.
Due April 2023.Read via Edelweiss.