Join me in my never-ending quest to read down the TBR while I also keep up with up-and-coming kidlit! Today’s pick is the third book in the Nina Soni series: Master of the Garden. I love reading about Nina, her younger sister Kavita, and her best friend Jay. This time out, Nina, Kavita, and Jay learn how to plan out a garden, courtesy of Nina’s landscape architect Mom, for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. They all love the idea of growing their own food, but Nina thinks bigger than that: she wants to grow so much that she can sell the extra vegetables and make money! The only thing she doesn’t plan for? The work it takes to make a garden successful: weeding, pest control, and harvesting, for starters. Kavita thinks that her singing will help the plants grow even bigger, but Nina’s not too sure about that – it’s driving her crazy! Sheth makes Nina very relatable and very likable, with a determination that underlies everything she does and an imagination that keeps moving her forward. Black and white illustrations and Nina’s famous checklists add context and interest. Nina and her family are Indian-American; each story is filled with cultural touches that provide texture to these rich, fun stories. A fun intermediate series that belongs on shelves.
Visit Kashmira Sheth’s webpage for a downloadable discussion guide to the series, and more information about the Nina Soni books.