Written in the form of a dialogue, this British import traces the (imaginary!) adventures of a young South Asian boy, Nimesh, on his way home from school.
A voice, presumably an adult’s, asks Nimesh generic questions about school and about his walk home. Nimesh, however, constantly corrects the voice’s (and consequently readers’) assumptions about where he is and what he’s doing. For instance, in the very first double-page spread, a group of children crowd around a book named How to Tame a Dragon in 7 Days. The interrogative text reads, “Hello Nimesh, is school over?”—to which Nimesh responds, “School? My friend, this is not a school! It’s an ancient cave, and shhhh! Or you’ll wake… // …the DRAGON!” Turning the page reveals a dragon wearing Mary Jane pumps, face down and fast asleep atop a book at the teacher’s desk. A bottle of mineral water on the desk simultaneously acknowledges the hilarity of Nimesh’s imagination and allows readers to interpret Nimesh’s exhausted teacher reimagined as a dragon. Amini’s collagelike images depicting Nimesh’s numerous adventures—swimming with sharks, fighting pirates aboard a pirate ship, and skating across the ice at the North Pole, to name a few—complement both Singh’s tongue-in-cheek narrative and Nimesh’s far-reaching imagination.
This fun, fast-paced narrative will have readers eager to turn the page and imagine their own fanciful scenarios. (Picture book. 4-8)