Perfect Picture Book Friday
I loved American Desi (Little, Brown and Company, 2022) by Jyoti Rajan Gopal and illustrated by Supriya Kelkar. And whether one is dealing with multiple cultures or not, we all wonder where we fit in and could find this story reassuring.
In the picture book, the main character wonders “which is the color of me?” Does she fit on the Indian side or the American side? As we go through the story we realize with her she doesn’t have to pick one or the other–she can just be who she is.
Told in subtle rhyme, the left page shows Desi events and the right page American ones. My favorite spread says,
“One foot here, one foot there
Straddling, bridging worlds apart.
Searching deep within my heart
The different colors of me.”
The art is fabric, paper, mixed media, and digital collage which I think is perfect to represent this story.
The book has garnered attention:
- SLJ Teen Librarian Toolbox list of picture books to look out for in 2022
- Here Wee Read’s Ultimate List of Diverse Books 2022
Read about the author Jyoti here. Her next book My Paati’s Sari is out. And she’s sold four more, which you can read more about here. She’s been busy! Jyoti also has a lovely page of inspiration.
Supriya illustrated this book, but is also an author–see more here. You can find all her books here and see all the notice about them here. And finally check out Supriya’s wonderful portfolio.
8 thoughts on “American Desi”
Excellent recommendation, Sue.
I, classified as “White/Caucasian”, continue to blister when asked to fill my identity on forms. Many colors is a good way to address this, because most people are many things. Kids will enjoy hearting this reinforced.
I agree whole-heartedly!
I’m looking forward to reading her stories–I remember reading about it in PW. Thanks for highlighting this book.
Hope you enjoy!
Ah! It’s out – and Desi sounds like the sort of character I love: curious and full of life and wanting to find herself. Plus I love collage art, so can’t wait to see it myself.
Love this book! It’s on my shelf!
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