Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Picture Book
What did you like about the book? The setting for this story is Mumbai, a densely populated city on the west coast of India. A young girl named Doma is a little sad because Mumbai does not have mountains like her hometown of Ladakh. Her friend Veda has a plan to help her see Mumbai in a different way. As the two girls walk through the streets of Mumbai, Veda tells Doma that she has seen mountains of different shapes and colors than the “big, brown triangle” mountains of Ladakh. Veda tells Doma that she has seen mountains in all the colors of the rainbow. Veda also tells her that when you climb these mountains, you will experience that same feeling as climbing the mountains in Ladakh–you become out of breath, your heart beats faster, your cheeks become red, and the wind blows in your face. Doma is not completely convinced that a mountain like this exists, until Veda leads her to a special place–the rooftop of her apartment building in Mumbai. Climbing the winding staircase, feeling the cool breeze, and looking out over the city of Mumbai all remind Doma of climbing a mountain in Ladakh–Mumbai just has different mountains.
The author’s note in the back of the book explains her love of Mumbai, and even though it is a very densely populated city, it is a city that “lends meaning, beauty, and joy to its citizens”. The artwork provided by Pallavi Jain captures this beauty by using rich and vibrant colors to illustrate the city scene of Mumbai. The different shops and restaurants, clothing of people, open-air markets, gardens, flags, and historical buildings are all seen as the two young girls travel through the streets Mumbai.
To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children over the age of four. I think it would be especially enjoyed by a child who enjoys learning about different cities and cultures from around the world.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, anyone who works with children over the age of four. Great for a classroom because it shows another culture and city.
Where would you shelve it? Picture Books
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, it is always a plus when a book introduces children to another culture or another part of the world.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.
Date of review: May 21, 2020