MONSOON by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Jamel Akib (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2003)

Deeply sensory, this book takes readers to Northern India. The details are storytelling, somehow familiar, bringing each moment alive, the ache and eagerness for the rains. Feel the dust, taste the mangoes, play hopscotch, dance in the rain. Akib’s soft, expressive art is a perfect compliment to Krishnaswami’s evocative text. Ages 4-up. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION.