“Dini has heard of hearts sinking. She has always thought that was an odd thing for hearts to do.”

Now that, my homies, is a line worth framing! And it’s only one of many terrific lines in Uma Krishnaswami’s newest novel, The Grand Plan to Fix Everything, with illustrations by Abigail Halpin. In fact, the whole story is a verbal feast of delicious,lively language. Here is storytelling that is food for the ears as well as sustenance for the heart.

It’s at turns funny, heartbreaking, and always jubilant.

When Dini’s mother receives a grant to work in a women’s clinic in Swapnagiri, India, Dini is crushed that she’ll have to leave her best friend Maddie behind in Tacoma, MD.

The only saving grace is that she might, might, might be able to come face to face with the inimitable Dolly Singh, Bollywood superstar.

But Dolly is missing, which has become something of a national crisis. In fact, there is missing in all corners of Dini’s life.

Here is Uma to talk about it all:

I am not the only one who loves this book. It has already received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly.

Don’t miss the downloadable activity kit as well, on Uma’s website.

Just like a Bollywood movie, there is a large cast, including non-human types like these guys:

No novel set in India could be authentic without a cab driver:

And here’s a photo of that red mail box that inspired Uma to include the India Postal Service in her story:

Uma is not the only gifted and talent person in her family. Her son Nikhil helped produce this brilliant trailer:

And look, look, listen, listen! There is also a GRAND GIVEAWAY.

Three lucky Grand Prize winners will each receive one copy of THE GRAND PLAN TO FIX EVERYTHING along with a starry assortment of bangles and trinkets that Dolly Singh, famous famous Bollywood movie star, would adore! An additional 3 runners-up will receive a copy of THE GRAND PLAN TO FIX EVERYTHING. To enter, send an e-mail to GrandPlanGiveaway@gmail.com. In the body of the e-mail, include your name, mailing address, and e-mail address (if you’re under 13, submit a parent’s name and e-mail address). One entry per person and prizes will only be shipped to US or Canadian addresses. Entries must be received by midnight (PDT) on 6/30/11. Winners will be selected in a random drawing on 7/1/11 and notified via email.

Just in case you missed the interview that I did with Uma about her most recent picture book, I’m posting it again for your viewing pleasure.

Before closing, I want to give a shout out to Uma’s blog, Writing With a Broken Tusk. If you didn’t notice in the video, Uma is one of the most thoughtful and resourceful folks I know. I’ve learned so much from reading her posts. She’s a citizen of the world. Check it out.

Calloo, callay!