Never break a mirror and whatever you do, never cut your nails at night
As urban India slowly but surely marches down the path of progress, we still have a soft spot for the superstitions that we grew up with. Many of us know that of course a silly little horoscope in the newspaper is not going to alter the course of our lives but there’s never any harm in wearing that day’s lucky colour, just in case. This wonderfully paradoxical blend of old and new is sweetly potrayed in Sorensen’s short and simple little story about a day in the life of a pretty typical family from young urban India.
When Yohan and Yash’s mother reads a particularly doom ridden horoscope, their entire day is thrown up into the air. While this may sound simple as a plot or seem like little more than an excuse to advance the day forward, this works perfectly to showcase extremely relatable events that every family faces from time to time. From the mum scolding the laundry man for misplacing clothes to the interactions between the two brothers when they are stuck at home with nothing much to do, any child reading this book will definitely have moments where the family members of the Kapoor household seem comfortingly familiar.
Perhaps a minor quibble about the story would be that the book veers towards gender norms that seem extremely dated. The impulsive, airy mother with her head in the clouds and the no nonsense, long suffering, yet patient father may be amusing but ultimately are themselves tried and tired clichés.
That is not to say that the book doesn’t get family dynamics right – the boys, who are the true heroes of the story - are wonderfully mischievous, adorably devious, but ultimately kind and loving children that any kid will definitely like enough to try and emulate.
All in all, this is a wonderful book for a child as well as their siblings, regardless of how old they are. There will definitely be fun little moments of ‘Remember when you did this too?’ or ‘She’s just like that aunty, isn’t she?’ making this a wonderful family read!