On Saturday’s, Priya can be found helping out at her parent’s pet supplies market stall. She loves hanging out with Violet and Daisy and exploring the various stalls. Priya is thrilled when she meets a boy called Stan at the market and best of all, his dad sells pet supplies too. But not everyone is thrilled with the opening of a rival pet store. Is there room for two pet businesses? It’s time for a trip to the Market Café for a bowl of ice-cream with Nana-ji to talk things over…
A sweet multicultural story that explores the problems that a small family business faces when competition increases. The book is a bit strange in that the problem is never actually resolved, in fact, by the end of the story Priya’s family find their business in a much worse situation with not only competition from a fellow market trader but also the new retail park complete with its own shiny pet store. What readers are left with are the wise words of the loveable Nana-ji who breezes through life with her life lessons as Priya learns that, “all competition is good competition,” and “that’s the way the cookie crumbles.” The relationship that Priya and her grandmother share is wonderful and this is a big part of the narrative as they enjoy spending time together and bond over bowls of ice-cream at the Market Café.
It is lovely to read a story for young children that has an Indian family as its main characters. I really enjoyed the cultural references to markets in Mumbai and the making of kulfi - there’s a recipe for kulfi at the end of the story so you can even make your own. For a bit of extra fun, a spot the difference is included on the inside front cover. Featuring delightful illustrations throughout, this is another lovely read for newly independent readers in the ‘Little Gems’ series by the brilliant Barrington Stoke.
Like most problems in life, they are best solved over a bowl of ice-cream. A sweet story with some valuable life lessons that all readers can benefit from.
Recommended for 5+.