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by Labanya Ghosh ; illustrated by Pallavi Jain

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2020
ISBN: 978-81-936542-9-3
Publisher: Karadi Tales

An ode to urbanism and a love letter to India’s largest city.

When Doma, from Ladakh, a special administrative region in the disputed territory of Kashmir, visits her friend Veda in Mumbai, she misses the mountains of her home. “Tell me something,” asks Veda. “Do the mountains have to be exactly like the ones in Ladakh? Big, brown triangles?” Doma is incredulous; how else would a mountain look? Veda takes her friend by the hand and leads her on a tour of the megalopolis featuring views of both rooftops and a city street from above. Veda takes Doma up a seemingly endless spiral staircase and onto a terrace, from which the pair looks out on Marine Drive, a promenade and beach abutting the Arabian Sea. “Yes! Yes! Yes! We are on top of a mountain in Mumbai,” Doma cheers. Jain’s watercolor paintings are vivid and detailed, reveling in the bustle of the city. The unusual trim—double-page spreads measure 7 inches high by 28 inches wide—gives a sense of sweeping panoramas. One particularly effective spread demands a 90-degree turn of the book to fully appreciate the staircase the girls ascend. Veda and Doma’s journey is punctuated with recognizable landmarks (e.g., the Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge), making this an excellent book for the armchair traveler as well.

Readers who’ve never been to Mumbai will want to visit while those who love it will smile.

(Picture book. 4-6)