Children’s Book Review: Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala

Multiculturalism Rocks! Children’s Book Review: Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala
Book Title: Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala
Author/Illustrator: Meenal Patel
Publisher: Beaver’s Pond Press
Age Range: 4 to 8 years

It’s one thing to be far from the country in which you were born; to leave everyone and everything you love behind. It’s another to never have been to that country; one that encompasses all the histories, cultures, and people that comprise your family and heritage.
 
In Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala, a young Indian-American girl learns about the vibrancy of India through her Babi Ba.
Every day after school, Priya runs home to make the rotli for their family’s evening meal. And every day, Priya asks Babi Ba, “What is India like?”
It is then that Babi Ba reminisces about all of the sights, sounds, and smells of her homeland. From the arches and domes of the buildings…  
To the marigolds that hang on storefronts and the doorways of homes. Priya listens intently, finally asking, “Babi Ba, will you take me to India.” In which Babi Bi replies, “Maybe one day we will be able to go together.” 
 When winter arrives, Priya notices that, unable to go outside to pick the marigolds that grow in the garden, Babi Ba is feeling homesick for India. 
 
The next day at school, Priya discovers a way to help Babi Ba feel better. As she cuts and sews a paper garland of marigolds, her curious schoolmates gather
around her. She shares with them all the things that Babi Ba had told her about India.
 
Once home, the garland is hung above the doorway of Priya’s home for Babi Ba
to enjoy. As Priya explains how her classmates helped her, Babi Ba tells her that
“Sharing India with others is the very best way to carry it with you.”
 
This lovely picture book by author-illustrator Meenal Patel features her signature style of mixing patterns and lush colors, giving a beautiful depth to the story. She also provides wonderful back matter featuring the meanings, definitions, and pronunciations of elements found throughout the book. All together Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala is a charming celebration of the bond between grandparent and grandchild and the thread of heritage that connects them.
Learn More:
Meenal Patel
Meenal Patel Studio

Where to Buy:
Indiebound.org
Etsy.com

You can also check this out or request it at your local library! #SupportYourLibrary

Children’s Book Review: Going Down Home With Daddy

Multiculturalism Rocks! Children’s Book Review: Going Down Home With Daddy
Book Title: Going Down Home with Daddy
Author: Kelly Starling Lyons
Illustrator: Daniel Minter
Publisher: Peachtree Publishing
Age Range: 4 to 8 years

As summer approaches, so does a yearly tradition practiced by many families:
The Family Reunion. It’s a commemoration that brings generations together to
celebrate the roots of the Family Tree, to acknowledge generations and ancestors
past, and to pay tribute to the history of the important moments that keeps the
family united.
 
This is the powerful message Lyons and Minter capture in their new book, Going
Down Home with Daddy.
It’s reunion morning, and Lil Alan and Sis sleepily climb into the car as their daddy 
packs up to go down home. But Lil Alan’s excitement fades as he realizes he
still doesn’t have something to share at the anniversary celebration.
As everyone gathers together, Lil Alan is reminded of all the things that symbolize 
his family history: the land they own that stretches so far you can’t see its end, the
cotton grown on it that Granny used to make quilts to keep her children warm,
the pecan trees Pa planted that the grandkids now climb.
As the anniversary celebration nears, Lil Alan starts to panic. But when Daddy tells 
him to “think with his heart,” he learns that the simple act of remembering can be
the best family tribute of all.
When I first saw the cover of this book, I was awestruck; and that feeling didn’t 
stop once I began turning the pages. Minter’s use of rich, warm colors and dazzling
patterns – which are the perfect stylings for Lyon’s sublime storytelling – pull you into the story like a warm embrace. Going Down Home with Daddy is a wonderful homage to family and tradition.
Learn More:
Kelly Sterling Lyons
Daniel Minter
Peachtree Publishing

Where to Buy:
Indiebound.org
Quail Ridge Books

You can also check this out or request it at your local library! #SupportYourLibrary