Feast of Peas

Kashmira Sheth, illus. by Jeffrey Ebbeler. Peachtree, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-68263-135-5
Collaborators Sheth and Ebbeler offer a lyrical fable set in India about Jiva, a man who tends to his vegetable garden daily and holds a special fondness for his peas. “Plump peas, sweet peas,/ Lined-up-in-the-shell peas./ Peas to munch, peas to crunch,/ I want a feast of peas to lunch,” he sings while planting them. As they grow, so do Jiva’s measures of protection, from hoeing and watering to constructing a sugarcane scarecrow. Jiva and his friend Ruvji admire Jiva’s appetizing peas on harvest’s eve, but the next morning, they are gone! Perchance the work of rabbits, Ruvji offers. A rapid cycle of anticipation and disappointment repeats until the thief’s unavoidable unmasking and fairness restored through a feast: peas shelled and boiled, “steamed and simmered,” “fried and spiced.” Sheth spins a yarn about greed and forgiveness in well-paced, poetic narration accompanied by Ebbeler’s expressive acrylic illustrations. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/13/2020
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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