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Dec 14th: Chitra Soundar chooses What’s Cooking, Jamela?

Author / Illustrator: Niki Daly

The Story: Mama plans a chicken dinner for Christmas Day, and she gives Jamela the job of fattening up their chicken.

But seeing how happy Jamela is with her hen, she wonders just how she’ll get it away from Jamela and into the pot. Smelling trouble, Jamela sets off the day before Christmas with the chicken in her arms and a trail of chaos follows – in the street, in the taxi, and even in Miss Style’s hairdressing salon.

Why is What’s Cooking, Jamela your favourite Christmas book?

What's Cooking. Jamela? - Story Snug

It gives a different perspective to Christmas while keeping the universal feelings of family, feast and celebration. It is also representative of Christmas in the southern hemisphere where snow is not in the pictures and Christmas is not cosy and by the fireplace.

Can you describe a favourite illustration or give a favourite quote from the story and tell us why you chose it.

“We can call her Christmas,” said Jamela. Mama laughed.

This is my favourite line because this is almost a foreboding line – adults reading the book know something dangerous is coming but the children don’t.

About Chitra

Chitra Soundar - Story Snug

Chitra Soundar has always been fascinated with Christmas since she was young, living in a diverse neighbourhood in India. She is currently working on an Indian Christmas story because she wants her nephews to see themselves celebrating Christmas. You can find out more about her at www.chitrasoundar.com

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Chitra’s Books

Which book is on your Christmas wishlist this year?

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai. This is an immigrant story in verse which I’m dying to read.

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Forest Christmas by Yuval Zommer - #StorySnugAdvent

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