In Feast of Peas, our main man Jiva looks forward to a feast when his garden peas are ready for the picking. Unfortunately, when it is time to pick, they have disappeared! And nothing he does will stop the mysterious thief, not a scarecrow and not a fence. What is a poor farmer to do? Now we, the adult reader (and the clever child paying attention) will know who the thief is in Kashmira Sheth’s book. But in the meantime, you can enjoy the art of Jeffrey Ebbeler. This is perhaps the best part of everything. Because even though there is a very important word clue, if you look closely the art will tell a tale of two. The cover tells you all you need to know about how the details are done and color is used. Color is used to so much it is sometimes all you see. But that is not a bad thing, that makes you teak your time and just relax and enjoy the ride. The world of India comes alive on the pages.
I do not know if Platanos Go with Everything, but in Lissette Norman’s picture book, they do. They go with grandparents coming to dinner. The go with rice and are meant to be shared with family and with people who will become family. Platanos have magic power to make a bad day better and baseball players hit their homeruns! Platanos represent the home Yesenia’s parents and grandparents come from and they are the connecting factor allowing here (an apartment meant for four but would have six people in it at one) and their old homeland to be, in some ways, one. Yesenia’s story is boldly illustrated by Sara Palacios, with colors popping off the page, and sweet imagery. The only thing I can say, though it is cliché and corny is they are comfortable, and while you might not be of Dominican descent, they are familiar people and places. The story is about love and love this book I do.
Both books are for at least five and up, but can be adapted for most ages, so kids of all ages and adults who are kids at heart, can enjoy.