cover image A Bucket of Blessings

A Bucket of Blessings

Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal, illus. by Jing Jing Tsong. S&S/Beach Lane, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-5870-3

Tsong (Up in the Hawaiian Sky) illustrates this modest folktale with crisp artwork, assembling colored and patterned shapes to depict a mountainside in rural India. A drought has parched the land, and Monkey, who has lilac fur and a nearly human face, hopes the peacock at the top of the mountain can break the drought by dancing. “Oh, Monkey, I need water to make it rain,” the peacock tells him. On the way down, Monkey takes refuge in a cave. In a striking spread, a single shaft of light makes a secret spring gleam; nothing could better convey the water’s preciousness. Monkey fills his bucket, but it’s leaky, and it drips steadily as Monkey again climbs the mountain. In despair, he looks behind him to discover a trail of flowers, leaves, and birds. The water has brought them miraculously to life and allowed the peacock to dance and bring rain, too. Kabir Sehgal and his mother, Surishtha, tell the story in the simplest prose; the wealth water represents is conveyed through Tsong’s artwork. Some of the book’s proceeds will benefit a water charity. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)