The Problem with Being Slightly Heroic by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Abigail Halpin
You could just start reading Uma Krishnaswami‘s recent middle grade cross-cultural adventure and thoroughly enjoy it, but why have only half the fun? To maximize the knowing giggles, make sure to start with Dini’s 2011 debut in The Grand Plan to Fix Everything. Then check out this engaging latest Problem.
Spring break in Swapnagiri, South India, has brought Dini and her father back Stateside for a visit home in the DC suburbs. And who else has traveled half-way around the world but Bollywood’s favorite sweetheart, Dolly Singh, and her own true love, Chickoo Uncle? In just a week, Dolly is scheduled to premiere her latest dazzling film at … wait for it … the Smithsonian Institution, naturally!
Before she’s even arrived at her hotel, the fabulous Dolly has managed to lose her passport, not to mention at least a few sparkly baubles. That’s just the beginning of the many challenges that include runaway elephants, caterers absconded by the White House, Chickoo Uncle’s tranquilized experience, a cantankerous chef with a botanical complex, and so much more. Somehow, Dini and her best friend Maddie must make sure that opening night will be a spectacular success. Besides, there’s nothing a rose petal milk shake can’t fix, right?
Krishnaswami’s perfectly-pitched, can-do, chatty prose is again enchantingly enhanced by Abigail Halpin‘s whimsical art. Here’s hoping the delightful duo is planning many more multi-culti capers to come!
Tidbit: So, Smithsonian groupies … can you say SALTAF with a pachydermatous twist?! SALTAF refers to the annual South Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival which happened every fall at SI for almost a decade; let’s hope it gets reinstated in the near future, ahem! Wouldn’t you know, Uma Krishnaswami made her own Smithsonian debut at SALTAF 2005, which just happened that year to host the U.S. premiere of Deepa Mehta‘s stunning, Oscar-nominated film, Water! Inspirational history …? I’m just saying …
Readers: Middle Grade