Author: Soumya

The Day Saida Arrived

Did you have a friend who did not speak your language? I was not lucky enough to have a friend like that. The Day Saida Arrived is a beautiful book about friendship, acceptance and immigration. The book is written by Susana Gomez Redondo and illustrated by Sonja Winner. The book tells the tale of friendship between a girl who speaks only English and a Moroccan girl who can speak only Arabic. The girl teaches Saida English and in return she learns Arabic. It is also a story about how friendship has the power to heal and bring joy. Saida has a tough time living in a new country which has different language and customs but her friend helps her accept the new place. I loved the below quote from the book: And we knew that in all languages, there are words as warm as breath and others as cold as metal. Words that bring together, and words that separate. Words that cause hurt; words that awaken laughter. Words that tickle when they are spoken, and …

The Mutant Mushroom Takeover

It is that time of the year again. As a Halloween tradition, I pick up a few spooky books in September and October. The Mutant Mushroom Takeover by Summer Rachel Short(@summerrachelwrites) is a perfect and chilling read for this Halloween. Maggie is an aspiring young naturalist who lives in Shady Pines with her grandmother and elder brother, Ezra. Maggie’s best friend is Nate, who is a wannabe YouTube Star and alien conspiracy theorist. Maggie’s dream is to win Vitaccino Junior Naturalist Award. Nate has an idea that can make Maggie the winner. Nate and Maggie go to scary old man Bell’s land and discover bioluminescent fungus. Due to an unfortunate incident, Maggie’s brother, who also joined them inhales spores. Now, his brother is having a cough. Maggie also finds animals sprouting unusual growths and displaying herd behavior. Are all these related? As things gets worse in Shady Pines, it is up to Maggie to make their town safe. I loved the dynamic between Maggie and Nate, scientific Maggie and weird and unrealistic Nate. The town …

Hair story

I believe that every woman has a story about her hair. My hair story started when I knew I had hair. As a kid, I protested my hair being cut. The barber used to come to our home and I used to hit the bed and pretend to sleep. In the background, I could hear him saying he will leave because I was sleeping and my mom saying she is just pretending, I will get her. My mom usually won. When I was close to 10 years, I made my own make-believe hair by strapping towels to my head and sashaying the hair. Finally I won, and I got to grow my hair. Until late teens, I had hair that came to my waist. Every Sunday my mom used to apply oil to my hair and it was tug-of-war, given my hair was curly. I used to scream, ‘Don’t pull my hair’, and my mom used to show how it really felt to pull my hair. Sometime between Intermediate and early bachelor years, I started …

Julia’s House Moves On

What if your house had a mind of its own? What if your house moved overnight and you woke up to a new scenery every morning? I would love that since I am working from home and travel is limited due to Covid-19. Julia’s House Moves On by Ben Hatke is a quirky tale is about Julia’s house. Julia’s house is on top of a mountain and on top of a sea turtle. Her house is home for lost creatures of every kind, a mermaid, goblins and trolls to name a few. The creatures were getting restless so it was time to move. Julia has a plan so that the move is perfect but nothing works according to the plan. Will Julia and her creatures lose their home? What surprises are in store for them? I loved the illustrations of the lost creatures and the story. It is a whimsical and one of a kind tale. Read and discover if you will love it too. Thanks to @netgalley and @01firstsecond for the ARC. Category: children’s …

Why are you so quiet?

Why Are You So Quiet? by Jaclyn Desforges and illustrated by Risa Hugo Is a book for all the quiet kids. Mary Louise is a quiet girl who loved quiet places. Her friends asked her why are you so quiet? The class teacher demanded she raise her hand in class to answer a question. Her mom looked at her disapprovingly when Mary Louise read in her room after playing with friends. Mary Louise is troubled by the question, why are you so quiet? She seeks the help of nature to answer the question. I loved the soothing illustrations and this gentle story which teaches kids that their friends can have different personalities. Some are naughty and boisterous, whereas some are quiet and observant. Thanks to @netgalley and @annick_press for the ARC. Category: children’s picturebook Age: 4-7

Spooky reads

I have a Halloween tradition. In the months of September and October I read horror/mystery genre books. With the chill in the air, I want to disappear under the blankets and spook myself out. These are the spooky books that I read recently. The background color indicates the spookiness level Yellow – mild spooky or gross Orange – medium spooky Red – spooky to the max MG is middle grade, A is adult and YA is Young Adult. Did you read any of these books? What do you think?

When life gives you mangoes

Do you remember the frenemy cycle with your friends? The frenemy cycle includes, having a fight with your friend, not talking to them after that, plotting against them and finally becoming besties again. When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kerren Getten reminded me of the frenemy cycle. Clara and her friends live in Sycamore, Jamaica. Clara doesn’t remember anything from last Summer when the hurricane hit their seaside town. Her best friend, Gaynah starts acting weird, aloof and shares Clara’s secrets with others. The behavior of Gaynah makes Clara angry. Clara gets into fights with Gaynah which disappoints her parents. The only pleasant thing in Clara’s life is that a new girl comes from New York and becomes Clara’s friend. This novel seemed simple in the beginning filled with childhood tiffs, role playing games and stealing stuff from other’s garden. As we approach the end, I learned that this novel has a deeper message. This novel is suitable for youngsters who have trouble dealing with unexpected and uncontrollable situations in their lives. Thank you to …

Library Favorites

In September, I had many favorites in the library books so I decided to make one post about these books. The themes vary from chickens, rabbits, bugs, a teenage rock climber, Dalai Lama, the woman who sewed the space suit that went to the moon and also a book about how to be yourself. There is also a few favorites in adult books. Plan to read these delightful picture books with your little one(s).

Lost Between Worlds Cover Reveal

I am excited to reveal the cover of my debut middle grade novel, “Lost Between Worlds” that will be published by @batani.kids. I’d like to thank @abhilashakhatri0603 for the wonderful illustrations. Varun is a ten-year-old boy, who wakes up in The Jungle Book (by Rudyard Kipling). Varun has lost his memory, but he knows that he has to find four ‘clues’ in The Jungle Book to go home. Varun’s companions are his faithful beagle, Spot, the pod that travels into the ‘book’ worlds, and the virtual assistant of the pod, Avani. Will he be able to locate the ‘clues’ and find his way back home? Or is the jungle too dangerous for Varun and Spot? “Lost Between Worlds” will be released in Spring 2021. Kindly help us spread the word.

No Ordinary Boy

Coming up on 1st October is No Ordinary Boy by Tracey Mayhew. This book is the first book of The Legends of King Arthur series. No Ordinary Boy is about eight-year old Merlin. Merlin’s father is a demon and his mother is human. Merlin has magical powers. He can brew potions to cure the ailments of the people in his village. He can also glimpse into the future. The village folk fear Merlin. One day, the King Vortigern’s Knights come for Merlin. Along with them is a hooded figure. They capture Merlin and take him to the King. The King wants to build a magnificent tower but his plans are ruined whenever the workers make progress. Will the Merlin be able to help the King? There are illustrations on every page which also make this book an interesting read. I loved the Merlin series so I am a natural admirer of this book. I also preordered a copy of this book from Amazon. I am waiting for Book 2 in this series. Thank you to …