My rating: 3 of 5 stars
First Published: October 3rd, 2016
Publisher: Pajama Press
Recommended Age: 5+
Genres & Themes: Picture Books, Culture
The moods of Sri Lanka’s rainy season come alive as Kim La Fave, illustrator of the award-winning Shin Chi’s Canoe, uses a fresh style that is both contemporary and impressionistic to depict the courage of one little girl facing the power of a flash flood.
This is quite an atmospheric picture book.
The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and, surprisingly, lyrical. The writing is, too, but even without words, this book would still be fairly easy to understand as well as moving.
I find it ironic that Malini was so worried about planting the seedlings, because she ended up not doing that at all… Instead of helping her family with that, she is babysitting an ox… Do people really leave such huge animals with young children in Sri Lanka? I guess that if you have to, you have to.
I actually absolutely loved the ox. I found that it had more personality than the little girl herself, supposedly the main character of this story. Just look at the cover. See the expression on the ox’s face? How could you not feel sympathetic towards it? Malini was alright in the sense that I did not mind her per se, but she was rather one-dimensional.
I think this story should have ended with Malini doing a great job of helping her family with the seedlings, since that was her initial worry. It would have circled back to the main ‘‘subject,’’ I would say.
All in all, wonderful images and a really sympathetic ox.
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