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Bracelets for Bina’s Brothers

2021

by Rajani LaRocca and Chaaya Prabhat

"Celebrate diversity, math, and the power of storytelling! For the Hindu holiday of Raksha Bandhan, Bina is determined to make beaded bracelets for her brothers all by herself. She finds out which colors her brothers like and dislike and sets to work. Working with her every-other-one beading pattern causes Bina to discover something new about patterns—and her brothers. Storytelling Math celebrates children using math in their daily adventures as they play, build, and discover the world around them. Joyful stories and hands-on activities make it easy for kids and their grown-ups to explore everyday math together. Developed in collaboration with math experts at STEM education nonprofit TERC, under a grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation." -- publisher

Any Child

Mindy Kaling

2021

by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Roza Nozari

"In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Mindy Kaling, the actor, writer, producer, and director. ? When Mindy was a little girl, she loved TV comedy sketches; in particular, Saturday Night Live. At college, she studied theater and met a friend with whom she created her first off-Broadway production. It was there she was spotted by the writer and producer of The Office (US) for the role of Kelly Kapoor. Mindy went on to write and executive produce hilarious episodes of The Office. She then went on to create The Mindy Project, and Never Have I Ever, the Netflix Original smash hit watched by 40 million people, fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a director and writer. This empowering book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with photos and a detailed profile of Mindy’s life. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!" -- publisher

Biography

Binny’s Diwali

2020

by Thrity Umrigar and Nidhi Chanani

"Binny woke up happy but nervous. It was her day to share about Diwali, the Festival of Lights! Binny is excited to talk to her class about her favorite holiday. But she struggles to find the words. Taking a deep breath, she tells her classmates about the fireworks that burst like stars in the night sky, leaving streaks of gold and red and green. She shares with them delicious pedas and jalebis. And she shows them clay lamps, called diyas, which look so pretty all the children ooh and aah. Featuring a heartwarming story by Thrity Umrigar, enchanting illustrations by Nidhi Chanani, and detailed information about the Hindu festival of lights, Binny's Diwali is a holiday treat." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Cross Group

Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy

2020

by Tara Dairman and Archana Sreenivasan

"Extreme weather affects two children’s lives in very different ways and shows how the power of nature can bring us together. One girl. One boy. Their lives couldn’t be more different. While she turns her shoulder to sandstorms and blistering winds, he cuffs his pants when heavy rains begin to fall. As the weather becomes more severe, their families and animals must flee to safety—and their destination shows that they might be more alike than they seem. The journeys of these two children experiencing weather extremes in India highlight the power of nature and the resilience of the the human spirit." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

The Mountains of Mumbai

2020

by Labanya Ghosh and Pallavi Jain

"A young girl from Mumbai, India, is determined to show her friend from picturesque Ladakh that big cities have mountains too. Suitable for diverse and multicultural book collections. Doma has come all the way from Ladakh to visit her friend Veda in Mumbai. While Doma loves the sights and sounds of the big city, she longs for the mountains of Ladakh. Imagine her surprise when Veda reveals that there are mountains in Mumbai too! Author Labanya Ghosh takes you on an unforgettable tour of Mumbai, and illustrator Pallavi Jain’s watercolours bring alive this beloved, bustling coastal city." -- publisher

Any Child

India (On the Way to School)

2019

by Anna Obiols and Subi

India is waking up to a beautiful day. Ramjed and his favorite monkey, Gigi, are on their way to school. What wonders will they see along the way? Readers of this charming book will follow Ramjed and his furry friend on their morning adventure. They'll travel through a bustling marketplace, pass by a Hindu temple, and even meet an elephant. They'll also learn about food, music, games, religion, clothing, etiquette, and daily life in the beautiful country of India. Stunning illustrations will pull even reluctant readers into this endearing story. This adorable book will entertain readers while introducing them to the vibrant culture of India.

Beautiful Life

Mahatma Gandhi

2019

by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Albert Arrayas

"Part of the best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, Gandhi tells the inspiring story of this peaceful protester and father of India. New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the life of Mohandas Gandhi, the father of India, in this true story of his life. As a young teenager in India, Gandhi led a rebellious life and went against his parents' values. But as a young man, he started to form beliefs of his own that harked back to the Hindu principles of his childhood. Gandhi began to dream of unity for all peoples and religions. Inspired by this idea, he led peaceful protests to free India from British rule and unite the country—ending violence and unfair treatment. His bravery and free-thinking made him one of the most iconic people of peace in the world, known as 'Mahatma' meaning 'great soul'. With innovative illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful people of the world." -- publisher

Biography

BOOK DISCUSSION:

In our ongoing efforts to inform your thinking about multicultural picture books and book selection, the Diverse BookFinder now provides author/illustrator interviews on select book pages. We hope this is helpful for our users!

Author/Illustrator Bio.:

Meenal Patel is an illustrator, designer and children’s book author. She loves to draw moments of childhood wonder, strong women, and textures in nature. Making art is her happy place. It’s the moment when she can look inward, find joy and then push that joy outward in the form of making something. She hopes that joy reaches someone else. She is the author and illustrator of Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala and Neela Goes to San Francisco. Visit www.meenalpatelstudio.com to learn more about her work.

How would you describe this book’s contribution to the multicultural picture book world?

This book offers a glimpse into a child's and adult's experience in a multi-cultural and multi-generational home. It's also about having pride in all the different pieces of your identity and the power of sharing all those pieces with others.

What do you see as the mission of this book? Is it meeting its mission?

My hope is that this book helps kids see themselves as heroes and that they have the power to make a difference in someone else's life through their actions and empathy. Kids need those opportunities to see themselves as heroes, to celebrate what makes them unique, and to feel connected to other people. I also hope that it gives kids with a similar lived experience an opportunity to have their experience acknowledged and celebrated. And of course, on the flip side, it's for kids who do not have these experiences so that they can gain some understanding.

Has this book (either through its creation or through its reading) changed how you see things? If so, how?

Making this book was an emotional process because I'm deeply connected to elements in the story. My family is from India but I was born and raised in the United States. I went to India with my parents a few years ago for the first time as an adult. I had always wanted to see the country where my family is from with my parents. India is a full-sensory place and I was so inspired by the people, colors, patterns, food, and sounds. I was also struck by how so much felt familiar to things in my life growing up, and at the same time, so many things felt foreign. After that trip, I knew I wanted to make a picture book with India as a part of it.

I stewed on what the story would be for about a year and a half on and off. Initially, I thought it would be something related to all the amazing sensory moments that make up that extraordinary place. I started coming up with ideas for the storyline and writing but nothing felt right. Ultimately, I scrapped everything and started over. I took some time to journal about that trip to India and what it meant to me. I wrote about all the things that felt familiar from my childhood. I had to dig really deep to find this story. But then as I wrote it, pieces of it fell out of me and felt really honest. It came from a really honest place and hopefully that means people will connect to it on an emotional level. This story became something really different from what I had set out to make and I think that’s for the best.

It's been nice to see kids connecting to the idea of using their keen observations skills to understand what someone else might be feeling and to try to do something nice for that person. I've been really surprised at the emotional response that I've gotten from adults, which makes me think that maybe the intense emotion I felt while making this book is coming through to them. There have been a number of adults who have told me the book made them tear up or cry because it struck a chord in their own experience, how they wish they had a book like this when they were growing up, how they are so happy that their child will grow up with a book like this. It has been really lovely to see kids and adults connect to the story in different ways.

What should people know before reading this book? Or what might readers be curious about after reading this book?

I think it's great to approach any book with curiosity. The opening and closing of this book are unconventional for a children's book but I think it works if the reader approaches it with openness.

Readers may wonder about the meaning of marigolds in the story. I included back matter that talks about marigolds and other elements in the story. Marigolds carry different meanings for cultures all around the world. The use of garlands and meanings of specific flowers vary throughout India and are used in ceremonies by different religions. In Gujarat and other regions, some people hang fresh marigold and mango leaf garlands at the entrance of homes, shops, and even on trucks for festive occasions. They are a symbol of honor and luck. Beyond that, the smell keeps bugs away!

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