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Where three oceans meet
Where is it?
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Trade Reviews
Publishers Weekly Review
Inspired by the author's memory of a similar childhood trip, this picture book follows brown-skinned Sejal as she goes on a family trek across India to Kanyakumari, "the very tip of India, where three oceans meet." She travels alongside her bespectacled mother, who lives with Sejal in America, and Sejal's gray-haired pati, who lives in India. Employing the first-person perspective, LaRocca subtly acknowledges cultural differences between generations as the trio packs: nine-yard-long silk saris for Pati, bright six-yard-long saris for Mommy, and "T-shirts and jeans, and langas and blouses for dressing up" for Sejal. The telling also engages the sensory details of their travels as the trio visit relatives, temples, and street vendors across India ("In the hot afternoon, we sip water straight from tender green coconuts with their tops sliced off"), richly accompanied by Sreenivasan's digital art, which offers animation-style figures against vibrant backgrounds ripe with detail. A satisfyingly poignant close against expansive views from Kanyakumari concludes this warm intergenerational tale, which emphasizes how love transcends distance and endures across continents. Back matter includes author's and illustrator's notes. Ages 4--8. (Aug.)
Booklist Review
Pati (grandma), Mommy, and Sejal may be part of the same family, but they have very different ideas about everything. Rather than this posing a problem, however, their simultaneous collaboration and independence makes their experiences together all the more exciting. They have three different reasons for wanting to travel to the same place: the southernmost tip of India. They go by car, train, and boat; they eat three different types of dosas; and they dress in three different generational styles. Vibrantly colored illustrations decorated with floral motifs and rich with contextual details bring to life their trip, their close relationships, and their glimpses of contemporary urban and rural southern India. A map in the back matter helps, too, showing where the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean meet. The metaphor of the intertwining of cross-cultural and cross-generational similarities and differences is sustained from start to finish, offering points of connection for readers from all backgrounds.
Kirkus Review
Sejal, her mother, and her grandmother are planning a trip to Kanyakumari, a city at the southernmost edge of India, where "three oceans meet." Sejal and Mommy live in the United States and Pati in Bangalore, so while Sejal has a lot in common with her grandmother, they are also very different. When they are packing for their trip, for example, Sejal packs shorts and T-shirts while her grandmother packs 9-yard saris typical of southern Brahmin households. Sejal speaks mostly English while her grandmother speaks a mix of English, Tamil, and Kannada. On their way to Kanyakumari, Sejal and her family get to experience iconic cities in Tamil Nadu. In the coastal city of Chennai, they eat dosa. In Coimbatore, they visit relatives over tea. In Madurai, they visit one of southern India's most famous Hindu temples. In between these cities, they stop to sip tender coconut, shop at a typical market, and gaze at the countryside from the windows of a train. These sights are all realized in Sreenivasan's sunny, affectionate illustrations, and they appear again on a closing map that traces the journey. Finally, they reach Kanyakumari, where they witness three oceans coming together just like three generations of their family. The book's text is a celebration of intergenerational, border-crossing love, and the analogy between the three oceans and the three female protagonists works well. A sweet picture book about forming family ties across oceans. (author's note, illustrator's note) (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

"I want to see what's at the end of the earth!"

Sejal, Mommy, and Pati travel together to the southern tip of India. Along the way, they share meals, visit markets, and catch up with old friends.
For Pati, the trip retraces spaces she knows well. For Mommy, it's a return to the place she grew up. For Sejal, it's a discovery of new sights and sounds. The family finds their way to Kanyakumari, where three oceans meet, and delight in making it to the end of the earth together.
This own voices picture book celebrates the beauty of India and the enduring love of family.

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