The Grand Plan To Fix Everything

Eleven-year old Dini loves movies—watching them, reading about them, trying to write her own—especially Bollywood movies. But when her mother tells her some big news, it does not at all jive with the script of her life she has in mind. Her family is moving to India…and, not even to Bombay, which is the center of the Bollywood universe and home to Dini’s all-time most favorite star, Dolly. No, Dini is moving to a teeny, tiny village she can’t even find on a map. Swapnagiri. It means Dream Mountain and it only looks like a word that’s hard to pronounce. But to that open-minded person who sounds the name out, one letter at a time, it falls quite handily into place: S-w-a-p-n-a-g-i-r-i. An honest sort of name, with no surprise letters waiting to leap out and ambush the unwary. That doesn’t mean there aren’t surprises in Swapnagiri like mischievous monkeys and a girl who chirps like a bird—and the biggest surprise of all: Dolly. So now, Dini is hard at work on a new script, the script in which she gets to meet the amazing Dolly. But, life is often more unpredictable than the movies and when Dini starts plotting her story things get a little out of control. This is a joyful, lively Bollywood inspired story is full of colorful details, delicious confections and the wondrous, magical powers of coincidence. Uma Krisnaswami will have you smiling from ear to ear.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume IV, Issue 4

Torina’s World: A Child’s Life in Madagascar

The children in Madagascar rejoice in life’s natural gifts–singing, working in the fields, helping their parents, and playing with lizards. Divided into three sections: “We Live!”, “We Grow!” and “We Feel!”,Torina’s World: A Child’s Life in Madagascar offers a glimpse into daily life in a Malagasy village and encourages children in Western culturesw to examine and reflect on life in a developing country.Ten years ago, author and photographer Joni Kabana spent a month in Madagascar. Her intention was to bring back images for her children showing how other children live. Torina, an eight-year-old Malagasy girl, acted as Joni’s guide into this world. Back home, Joni’s nine-year-old son, Benjamin Opsahl, helped edit the images and added simple, yet profound text that will engage readers across the world.Torina is now eighteen. She still lives in a small hut with her mother, father and six brothers. Her desire to further her education has been hindered by a lack of financial resources, thus a portion ofthe proceeds from book sales will provide funding for her education as well as othr educational activiities in Madagascar. Celebrate diversity with Torina’s World, and join with readers young and old in embracing a multi-cultural perspective.To learn more about Torina, her life in Madagascar, and fundraising efforts visit www.torinasworld.com

The Composition

In a village in Chile, Pedro and Daniel are two typical nine-year-old boys. Up until Daniel’s father gets arrested, their biggest worry had been how to improve their soccer skills. Now, they are thrust into a situation where they must grapple with the incomprehensible: dictatorship and its inherent abuses. This sensitively realized story touches a nerve and brings home the uncomfortable fact that some children do encounter issues of this magnitude. Here, deft realism is brought to the page by Antonia Skarmeta’s story and the edgy drawings of Alfonso Ruano, portraying a child’s view of a repressive society. The Composition is a winner of the Americas Award for Children’s Literature and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award.

This book has been included in WOW’s Kids Taking Action Booklist. For our current list, visit our Boolist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.

The Chocolate Cat

In a drab village nestled between the mountains and the sea, an old chocolate maker lives alone with his cat, making uninspired chocolates to display in his dusty shop. One day he does something different and makes chocolate mice with crunchy pink-sugar tails—but he won’t eat them. Cat soon discovers there’s something truly special about these little mice, and everyone who tastes them is inspired to create something new and different, something the little village has never seen.