Saturday Mornings for Kids reserves Saturday for reviews and recommendations of Children’s Books much like 50s and 60s TV programming reserved Saturday mornings for cartoons.

Today I highly recommend Kashmira Sheth’s Nina Soni, Master of the Garden.

I learned so much from reading this little book!

Indian children will see their own families reflected in Nina’s family, will read words they hear at home in Hindi, and be reminded of Indian food and snacks they often eat at their own tables. Other kids will learn of these interesting words and foods, thus learning more about their Indian friends. But this book is so much more than educational; it is a “darned good read” because the characters matter to the reader, and the plot has its twists and turns.

If nothing else, Nina is a problem solver. She doesn’t let chard-eating, wild rabbits do her in, nor does she give up when mosquitoes “eat her up.”She is a list-maker, a new-word lover, and loyal friend. She is creative and ingenious, but is willing to ask for help from her friends or parents when it is needed.

Her little sister, Kavita, is a scene-stealer with her innocent-wise comments and her singy-songs that make more sense than at first glance.

Planting and tending a garden or at least a few plants is an experience all children should have, and “Master”makes this experience attractive and doable for your child or grandchild. Where planting and growing are impossible, children can read this book and experience the fun vicariously.

I rate this book a full 5 out of 5.


Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."


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