Author: Thomas, Sarah
Nervous about facing her first day at a new school, Kalamata embarks on a courage-inducing journey in her kitchen when her mother cooks up some comfort food complete with the Indian spices she loves.
|Added Entry - Personal Name:||Wallace, Derek|
Kirkus Reviews (06/01/21)
School Library Journal (07/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2021 Kalamata is nervous about starting at a new school in the morning. She needs to find a way to feel brave. While her mother prepares a meal of dal and rice, Kalamata retreats beneath the magical kitchen table where, secure among comfy cushions and toys, she can let her imagination take flight. She imagines herself as an astronaut, a deep-sea diver, a mountain climber. As the room fills with the scent of familiar spices, she recalls her recent summer trip to a market in India, which had also made her nervous—initially. The story affirms children’s apprehension about unfamiliar experiences by reminding readers to remember all the ways they are brave every day, even in their imaginations. This helps prepare for new experiences with confidence rather than anxiety. A home-cooked meal always helps, too, and readers might be eager to follow the recipe for dal and rice in the back matter. For readers embracing the power of imagination, pair this with Matthew Burgess and Shahrzad Maydani’s Bird Boy (2021). - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2021 K-Gr 3—While her mother prepares dinner, Kalamata is anxiously anticipating her first day of school. She talks about not going, so she and her alligator, Al Dente, slide under the magic dining room table to go for a little trip. The trip is full of the delicious smells and sounds of her mom making dinner, which turns out to be a South Asian dish, dal. A recipe is included so readers can try recreating the exciting adventure at home. Kids who like to cook or like to try new foods will be intrigued by the food descriptions and figurative language, such as comparing the popping of mustard seeds to fireworks. The artwork is vibrant and vivid, with deeply saturated colors, conveying what the heroine is seeing and experiencing. This is apparently the start of a series of books about Kalamata and her culinary travels. VERDICT This is a fun adventure story, with the benefit of piqueing interest in international cooking.—Debbie Tanner, S D Spady Montessori Elem., FL - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.