27 September 2016 Book Links www.booklistonline.com/booklinks
away from Anald’s house because he
is a Dalit and Anald is a high-caste
Brahmin, and according to ancient
caste norms, the two do not mingle.
Kumar, putting his despair in per-
spective, learns that India is changing.
Similarities are drawn between the
Indian caste system and racial seg-
regation in the U.S., as Grandfather
describes the activism that spurred
King for a Day. By Rukhsana
Khan. Illus. by Christiane Krömer.
2013. Lee & Low, $17.95
(9781600606595). Gr. 2–4.
At the time of basant, the spring
kite-flying festival celebrated in
Lahore, Pakistan, people head to their
rooftops to enjoy the spectacle of a sky
filled with kites and to welcome the renewal of spring. A boy in a wheelchair
overpowers the neighborhood bully
with his kite-flying savvy and keen,
compassionate eye. While undeniably
grounded in Lahori tradition, this is
a universal tale of one boy’s good-natured, competitive spirit and his desire
to shine, if only for a day.
The Monkey King. By Shobha
Viswanath. Illus. by Uma
Krishnaswamy. 2014. Karadi Tales,
$15.95 (9788181900333). K–Gr. 3.
In this plucky contemporary rendition of an ancient Buddhist folktale,
Kapi the monkey king knows that
human greed for the mangoes will
destroy their home, and risks his life
to save his people. The human king
sees this and realizes the many dire
consequences of his desire for mangoes. The illustrations echo traditional
textile art forms: bright, flat colors
with intricate outlined details adding texture to the waves of the river
Ganges and the tails of the flying fish
that leap out of it.
My Dadima Wears a Sari. By
Kashmira Sheth. Illus. by Yoshiko
Jaeggi. 2007. Peachtree, $16.95
(9781561453924). PreS–Gr. 2.
Rupa is in awe of her dadima
(grandmother), who wears a sari every
day, even as other adult women wear
Western clothes. Part memoir, part
informational text, this demystifies
the enigmatic sari as Dadima shares
with Rupa how the garment can be as
functional as it is elegant. Under her
guidance, Rupa promises to continue
the tradition that goes back through
generations of Indian women in their
Sona and the Wedding Game. By
Kashmira Sheth. Illus. by Yoshiko
Jaeggi. 2015. Peachtree, $16.95
(9781561457359). Gr. 1–4.
According to custom of joota
chupai, the bride’s younger sister hides
the groom’s shoes on the wedding
day and then bargains their return for
gifts or money. As her sister’s wedding
day approaches, Sona plots to get her
hands on the shoes. Meanwhile
rango-lis decorate the house, relatives arrive,
the bride’s hands are decorated with
mehndi, and eventually, the handsome
groom arrives, resplendent on a white
The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk. By
Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal.
Illus. by Jess Golden. 2015. Simon
& Schuster/Beach Lane, $17.99
(9781481448314). PreS–Gr. 2.
This adds a distinctly urban Indian
flavor to the legions of wheels-on-
the-bus books. Readers from within
the culture will recognize language,
customs, and scenes, while newcom-
ers will learn that a tuk tuk is a three-
wheeled minibus, rupees are money,
namaste is a respectful greeting, and
sometimes cows doze in the middle
of the street. It’s a bumpy, jam-packed
ride and lots of fun, especially with a
Diwali party at the end.
Boys without Names. By
Kashmira Sheth. 2010.
(9780061857607). Gr. 4–7.
When Gopal’s family is forced to
leave their village, Gopal takes it upon
himself to contribute financially by
finding a job in Mumbai, only to find
himself trapped in a sweatshop with
other boys, forced to work for free in
inhumane conditions. The boys have
a hierarchy based on mistrust and
fear, until Gopal’s storytelling skills
draws them together in what eventually becomes a tight bond.
One grandmother wears a sari to
honor her culture in My Dadimi
Wears a Sari, by Kashmira Sheth,
illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi.