Venture into Yummy Land

SIT venture

Review of Samira’s S-I-T Venture (The 3 sisters’ monthly countdown series); Smita Jee; Illustrations: Neha Gupta, Mamta Agarwal; Smita Jee Publications 2015; pp 157

Literature gives us access to a range of emotions. It puts us through a number of exciting moments we might never get to experience firsthand. Children’s literature in particular helps mould these emotions and gives foundation to a child’s dormant aspirations. Samira’s SIT Venture is a children’s book adapted with a kiddie audience in mind and it is successful in portraying the silly but seemingly important dilemmas a child is faced with. The second book in the Three Sister Monthly Countdown Series, the book features the narration of an adolescent who aspires to be a chef.

It all starts with the seasonal Stay Indoors Tournament, better known as SIT, the event that every child of Cozy Heights longs for. However, Samira and her sisters land in utter confusion with a new rule in place which has limited them to participate in just one contest. After a long running debate with herself, she decides to participate in the cooking competition. What follows is a narration of her relationship with her family and friends and her preparation for the upcoming competition.

Samira’s SIT Venture is a fairly good attempt in creating a new world for children while teaching them (quite blatantly at times) about the world and its residents. Though the conversations between the children at times might seem too grownup, it is guaranteed that it will make your child scurry in search for the meanings of these new found words. What makes the book interesting are the simple yet delicious recipes which encourages a child to try them by themselves and create great dishes.

The explanations for rainbows occurred unnecessary to me as they are best saved for the future and it tends to spoil the fantasy world of magical rainbows and pots of gold for the child. Printing mistakes have been overlooked and certain pages have been reprinted and certain others, missing. It’s good to have a hardback cover for children’s books, for obvious reasons.

This book is successful in helping kids understand the value of patience and the importance in nurturing their passions. If your child is looking for a good read to sit down to on a rainy day, this is their go-to book.


Three on a spree

Review of The Three on a Spree; Smita Jee; Illustrators: Neha Gupta and Mamta Agarwal; Smita Jee Publications 2016; pp 180

Nothing is more golden than those days spent basking in the happiness of the mid-noon sun and those days spent caring for the deep wounds of a chasing game. Nothing is more golden than those seemingly never ending days of childhood when there were spring in our feet and when our eyes never rested. In an attempt to capture the beauty of the bygone days, Smita Jee uses her favourite trio, Samira, Shreya and Sarah and paints their vacation days which are quite the same for any child.

The holidays, annual sports day, Christmas and the family vacation are waiting for the three sisters and Sammy in particular has another special event in stock; her first school trip. With Sarah in Mickey World and Shreya excited for the sports activities, the sisters have chalked out their own vacation plans. The third book in The Three Sisters Monthly Countdown Series, The Three on a Spree narrates the individual and collective lives of the three sisters. From the teeth-chattering appointments with the dentist to the sheer excitement in shopping for Christmas, the book brings back good memories for adults and helps relate the same for children.

The DIY recipes always come in handy and this helps the book get a life outside the realms of fiction. The large font makes it easy to read helping the child attain a fast pace. However, the illustrations can be more creative as it is meant for young eyes, and the imagination quotient in the writing can be upped.

The POV shifts enable the reader to adjust and get into the minds of the three sisters in addition to helping him/her realise how different people can be. What might be most interesting is Sarah’s vacation days and her deep connection with her favourite cartoon characters. Her excitement reflects the innate childish goodness of all kids. An entertaining read for children of all ages, the book qualifies to be placed in the book shelves of young readers.

– Paavana Varma

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Rating: 6.2/10 (20 votes cast)
Venture into Yummy Land, 6.2 out of 10 based on 20 ratings

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 at 9:45 pm and is filed under Children's Books, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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