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"An expressive story about seasons, extremes, and waiting." - Kirkus Reviews
Children play, birds call, and grownups go about their business during the hot days of summer in northern India. But in the bustle of street and marketplace, everyone is watching, waiting for those magical clouds to bring their gift of rain to the land. Through the observations of one young girl, the scents and sounds, the dazzling colors and the breathless anticipation of a parched cityscape are vividly evoked during the final days before the welcome arrival of the monsoon.
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|File size:||28 MB|
|Note:||This product may take a few minutes to download.|
|Age Range:||4 - 8 Years|
About the Author
Uma Krishnaswami was born in New Delhi, India, and now lives in Aztec, New Mexico, with her husband and son. She teaches writing workshops for children and is the author of several books for children.
Jamel Akib was born in England, grew up in Malaysia, and now lives in Leigh-on-Sea, England. He studied at the Maidstone College of Art and has received several awards for his illustrations. Monsoon is his first picture book.
Uma Krishnaswami is the author of several books for children, including Naming Maya. She was born in New Delhi, India, and now lives in Aztec, New Mexico.
Jamel Akib grew up in Malaysia and now lives in Leigh-on-Sea, England. Monsoon is his first picture book.
Read an Excerpt
By Uma Krishnaswami
Farrar, Straus and GirouxCopyright © 2003 Uma Krishnaswami
All rights reserved.
All summer we have worn the scent of dust — gravelly, grainy, gritty dust — blowing on the winds and sprinkling through our clothes and hair.
At breakfast, Papa says, "When the monsoon rains arrive, they'll wash this dust away."
Going to the market, I cross the road with Mummy. "We need tomatoes," she says, "and maybe some beans."
We pass the old tea stall. It clatters with the chink of cups, hums and thrums with wondering and worrying. Will monsoon rains come soon?
The radio crackles with news of rain showers by the sea. But that seashore is far from us.
Mummy sighs. She watches the sky, and she has questions. "How much will it rain? How fast, how hard?" She worries about floods, and so I worry, too.
And there is another question. No one dares to ask it. It hangs in my mind, as the cry of the crows in the old neem tree hangs in the dust-pink air: "What if they never come, those monsoon rains?"
Still, in the afternoon, as Mummy chops and stirs, and lunch smells fill the air, my busy hands fold paper boats. I crease their crisp white sails. In my mind I see them float in oceans of puddles.
Evening falls. I watch the faces on TV. Old and young, poor and rich, all across India, we wait for rain. The heat makes me feel like a crocodile crouching snap-jawed.
When Papa comes from work, I run down to meet him. Across the street people crowd around the bus-stop shelter. Between the screeching of brakes and the scrambling of feet, I hear excitement. "Wait! Listen! Was that thunder or the rumble of an engine?"
At bedtime, Nani tells us tales of when the monsoon was wetter, fuller, longer — back in the days before fields gave way to city streets. I listen, till her stories fade to dreams.
Before day breaks, I hear a koel sing long and wild, in a voice like melting sunshine. From far away a peacock wails. I answer him out loud, and startle everyone awake.
Hot loo winds tear through the city. They rip the paper off billboards and shred the smiles of movie stars.
I complain, but Papa smiles and says, "We need this hot, dry wind to ripen those sweet mangoes."
Excerpted from Monsoon by Uma Krishnaswami. Copyright © 2003 Uma Krishnaswami. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Glossary of Hindi Words,
About the Monsoon,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very well written to keep a child's attention. Gives a good picture of what india is like.