FEAST of PEAS
By Kashmira Sheth (author) and Jeffrey Ebbler (illustrator)
Peachtree Publishing: 2020
Picture book for ages 4-8
The story begins:
Once upon a time, in the country of India, lived a man named Jiva.
Every day Jiva worked in his garden until the sun
turned as red as a bride’s sari.
Jiva planted carrots and beans, potatoes and
tomatoes, eggplants and okra. But he was most
excited about his peas. As Jiva planted them, he sang,
Plump peas, sweet peas,
Peas to munch, peas to crunch,
I want a feast of peas for lunch.
Written as a traditional folktale, readers meet hard-working Jiva who loves peas. He carefully tends them until they are plump and ready. But Jiva’s not the only one who loves them. His neighbor, Ruvji, also loves peas and let’s Jiva know how much he’d enjoy them. But when Jiva goes to harvest the peas the next morning, they are gone! Ruvji suggests that rabbits took them. Jiva puts up a fence but again, when it’s time to pick the peas, they are gone. So Jiva builds a scarecrow but that doesn’t stop the thief. Who is stealing the peas? Ruvji suggests that perhaps ghosts are to blame. Finally, Jiva realizes Ruvji is tricking him and he catches him in the act. Ruvji apologizes. Jiva forgives but asks his friend to prepare the feast which they enjoy together.
The language is fun to read aloud and the humorous illustrations give a detailed of Indian clothing, food, and buildings. Children will love joining in on the chorus as they enjoy the sights and colors of this Indian village and its inhabitants. Recommended for school and public libraries.
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