Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dance Your Troubles Away: The Grand Plan To Fix Everything

Uma Krishnaswami's small book The Grand Plan To Fix Everything offers a light travel itinerary and cosy little problems with cute solutions to the elementary crowd.

Dini, the main characters, has cute problems but doesn't seem to feel things deeply. She's sad when her planned Bollywood dance summer camp visit with her best friend is canceled, and a bit disconcerted to learn that her family is immediately moving to India for two years, but she accepts it as the way things are. She is delighted to learn that her favorite Bollywood movie star is also likely to be in her same village, and naively plans to meet her immediately. She clearly recognizes what kind of book she's in, because of course their paths do cross.

The side plot with the poor but enthusiastic postal deliverer, also a fan of filmi star Dolly, links them first with the chance to deliver the poorly address fan letter, and then unites them in a vacation to the same small Indian town. Everyone's problems (from the loneliness following a drastic move to the broken engagement of Dolly herself) has a quick fix that Dini can fit in her planned movie script of real life. It's a lightweight but warm hearted story that doesn't offer much to an adult but should work well with third grade kids (Dini is eleven, but reads as a few years younger to me).

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