The Washington Post
This magic carpet ride of a book transports kids to the heart of everyday India. In the middle of the night, Shoba’s pet monkey, Fuzzy Patel, wakes her to say they must leave urgently for Mumbai, the teeming city that used to be called Bombay, to attend his cousin’s wedding. It’s not clear where Shoba lives, but she’ been to India “once before on a jumbo jet with her parents.” This time, she and Fuzzy take the bed—the magic flying variety. Alas, the bed sets them down far from Mumbai, necessitating a long, roundabout overland trip if they are to make it to the wedding. Still, this enables Jeyaveeran to show all the staples of Indian life the pair encounters en route, from elephants and monks to coconut juice and sweet laddoos. And lots and lots of saris. The funny, sunny illustrations suggest Diana Vreeland knew what she was talking about when she called pink the navy blue of India.
School Library Journal
This lively romp across India introduces children to aspects of the country’s culture and geography. A little girl named Shoba and Fuzzy Patel (her stuffed monkey) fly on their bed to India in the middle of the night to attend Fuzzy’s cousin’s wedding. They land in the desert and meet a camel, a coconut juice seller, a line of elephants, a group of monks, and a snake charmer, all of whom guide them to Mumbai (Bombay). Fuzzy described as a “bit of a snob,” does not want to invite any of their new friends to the wedding. When Shoba and Fuzzy arrive at the celebration, however, they discover that all of the invitees are unable to attend, but readers can see that the people and animals have followed the pair all along, and soon they’re welcomed as guests. Colorful gouache illustrations with folk-art details lend an authentic feel to the story, and their slightly stylized appearance highlights the imaginary aspects of the tale. Younger listeners will enjoy the story and older children can use the map, the note about the name Mumbai, and the illustrated glossary as a springboard to learning more about India. This colorful book is a welcome addition to most collections.
San Jose Mercury News
Ruth Jeyaveeran takes young readers on a journey with her in The Road to Mumbai. Ready for bed, a young girl and her monkey embark on a series of adventures en what to what promises to be a yawner of a wedding. But magic happens. Jeyaveeran illustrates in a rather whimsical, vivid style. Her heroine, (with her vaguely foot-ball shaped head and knowing smile) is quite lovable.
On the way to attend a monkey wedding in Mumba (Bombay), Shoba and her monkey, Fuzzy Patel, fly to India (“Let’s take the bed airplanes are so stuffy”), land in the desert, and ask the way of various creatures, including people, camels, elephants, and a snake with “an artistic temperament and a sensitive stomach.” Everyone is helpful and friendly, but Fuzzy certainly doesn’t want those creatures (“riffraff” he calls them) at the festivities, and he warns them that the wedding will be “boring.” In fact, the wedding turns out to be a disaster-until the riffraff arrive and save the day. Many kids will enjoy the snobbish impatient voice and the mischievous fantasy, illustrated in bright pink, purple, and green gouache, as the pajamas-clad kid and her silly alter ego travel and dream. Just as much fun is the solemn back matter with a simple map and glossary.