Tag Archives: India

#blogbookaday: Festival of Colors

2 Mar

1Summary:  “Learn all about Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, in this lush picture book from bestselling mother/son duo Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal.

Spring is here, and it’s almost time for Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors. Siblings Mintoo and Chintoo are busy gathering flowers to make into colorful powders to toss during the festival. And when at last the big day comes, they gather with their friends, family, and neighbors for a vibrant celebration of fresh starts, friendship, forgiveness, and, of course, fun!” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: This is a simple concept book of colors wrapped in the cultural festival of Holi, celebrated in the spring symbolizing “inclusiveness, new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil.” I loved the simple text and the bright illustrations that really tie this book together and I loved that all the neighbors looked different as well – wearing different clothes, head coverings, different skin color and more. I think that people in western culture don’t often think about people individually, but as countries as whole being the same. The U.S. is different depending on your location and within your own town there are a lot of differences – and the same can be said for Mintoo and Chintoo’s community as well – diversity exists in both small and large communities around the world. I think my favorite spread was at the festival where you can see the community coming together to celebrate with bright colors all around them – what a great way to create a sense of inclusion and caring.

Personal Reaction: With a large Indian population in my community, I love seeing books that reflect their culture and are simple enough to share with even our youngest patrons. This will be a popular title in our library and I’m so glad that books like this exist to provide mirrors for the kids in my community.

Title: Festival of Colors
Author: Kabir Sehgal & Surishtha Sehgal
Illustrator: Vashti Harrison
Publisher: Beach Lane Books
Publication Date: January 30, 2018

#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/20/17

20 Feb

25203675I didn’t get to quite as many books this week, but I enjoyed the ones I did get to read!  Wish is a sweet story about family and friendship found in unexpected places (and a small spoiler alert – although there is a dog on the cover of the book, the dog does NOT die!) hour of the Bees is a story of magical realism that reminded me a little of The Lightning Queen with stories and folklore woven into the story.  Finally, The Star-Touched Queen was not what I was expecting at all, but in a good way. A fantasy story seeped in Indian folklore – I read the whole thing in one day, I couldn’t put it down!

This week, my plan is to read the other books I didn’t get to last week:

  1. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
  2. The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

Boys Without Names

1 Aug

Boys Without Names written by Kashmira Sheth is a much more serious book than I have been reading of late, but it is an eye-opening fictional story about a real-life issue that still plagues the world.  The story is about an eleven-year-old boy named Gopal who moves from his rural Indian village with his family to Mumbai in order for his parents to find jobs and for his siblings and himself to go to school.  When a stranger offers Gopal a job in a factory Gopal jumps at the chance to help his family financially.

He later finds out that he has been sold into a sweatshop where and five boys work from dawn to dusk with little food and are given no wages.  They are not allowed to talk to each other or even call each other by their own names.  But Gopal, continues to hope that he will someday be able to escape the locked sweatshop.  He becomes close friends with the other boys in the sweatshop where they share kahanis, or stories about their lives before coming to the sweatshop and folk tales from their young childhood.

Child slavery is still a rampant issue in many parts of the world and this story is a realistic introduction to the horrors that many children face.  This would be an interesting unit in school to combine both fiction and current events.  A story worthy of reading for children in middle school with a character that never loses hope even when the conditions seem hopeless.

Kashmira Sheth has a great website that lists the other books she has written, discussion questions for some of her books, as well as information about India.  Sheth’s books have strong Indian characters and settings.  The Snowy Day written by Ezra Jack Keats was the first picture book to portray an African-American character.  Sheth’s books have strong Indian characters and settings that are familiar to Indian children and important for them to see in current literature.

Title: Boys Without Names
Author: Kashmira Sheth
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Page Number: 320 pgs.

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