Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Imagine that!!!

Quote of the day: "You can never step into the same book twice, because you are different each time you read it."
                    ~John Barton

I grew up in a tropical country and had never seen snow before moving to the United States. My mother tongue is Gujarati and I started learning English in fifth grade. In India I lived in a small city (Bhavnagar) and in a big city (Mumbai).

I moved to Ames, Iowa when I was a teenager to attend college and then to Madison, Wisconsin for graduate school. In short, I stayed with the cold and the snow.
When I was young, I wrote poems in Gujarati and Hindi but not in English. In college I studied Microbiology and worked for many years in that field. When my two daughters were young I started reading books with them. We loved Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, and the books about Ramona Quimby. We also enjoyed books by Lois Lowry, Madeline L'Engle, and Avi.
Here are some jobs I did before becoming a writer:
  • Caught corn flea beetles one summer
  • Worked in a bakery, where I learned the difference between a hamburger bun and a Kaiser roll
  • Worked as a food microbiologist testing milk, cheese, ice cream and other food products for bacterial counts and pathogens
  • Choreographed and performed Indian dances
  • Ran a dance school
I started writing my first book, Blue Jasmine, when my daughters completed elementary school. Since that time I have written picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels. Please check out the different web pages; each book has its own page. Leave me a message with any questions or comments; I'd love to hear from you.
Goodbye in Gujarati is avajo. It means, visit again.

Now her book:

Title:  Tiger In My Soup
Author:  Kashmira Sheth
Illustrator: Jeffery Ebbeler
Ages: 4-8

This highly creative and imaginative book is filled with the most amazing illustrations.  An unnamed boy and his unnamed sister are left alone in the house.  The first sentence reads:  "Today, my big sister is in charge of the house, the lunch, and me." The bold lettering of me immediately alerts the reader that something is up.  Big sister is zoned out with her earbuds in her ears reading a book of her choice and little brother is hungry, impatient and wants to be read to.  In a desperate attempt to get her attention he pulls one of the buds out of her ear and shouts,  "I'm hungry."  Doing her caregiver duty she opens a can of soup for her little brother, tells him to be careful as it is hot, and then ignores him again and goes back to her reading.  This is when the fun really begins....and the boy's imagination kicks in and gets him into big trouble.

The soup, by the way, is alphabet soup, and once it is heated creates a puff of steam that morphs into a giant, ferocious, Bengal tiger that rises out of his bowl. Once on the floor the humungous tiger looks even more menacing and it is up to the boy to defend himself at all cost.  With spoon in hand the two face off and the boy finally declares war on the beast.  This is an engaging story that has you cheering the boy on and wondering if his big sister will ever notice his life-threatening plight. Most importantly ( for all us book nerds out there) we wonder if his sister will ever read his book to him.  This is a creative, humorous  story with a nice surprise ending that I know you will enjoy.  Kudos to our imagination and to excellent storytelling!

The Illustrator:  Jeffery Ebbeler

Jeffery Ebbeler has been creating award winning art for children for over a decade.  He has illustrated more than 40 picture books.  He worked as an Art Director for the children's book department of Publication's International in Chicago for 6 years.  He writes and illustrates the monthly comic series Nestor's Dock for Ask Magazine.  He has also done paper engineering for pop-up books, created large scale murals for schools and churches, and sculpted puppets and performed for several marionette theatres.  Jeffery gives lectures and demonstrations in grade schools, college, and museums about the process of bring words to life through pictures.  He and his wife Eileen both attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati.  They currently live in Cincinnati with their twin daughters Olivia and Isabel.

Book Review Rating:  8 (Fantastic!)

        Read on and read always!  Have an excellent day please.

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