FICTION

P Is for Poppadoms!: An Indian Alphabet Book

Beach Lane/S. & S./. Nov. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534421721.
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Gr 1-3–While introducing Indian culture and language, this book gives a brief introduction to Indian crops, holidays, currency, places, and culture with each letter of the alphabet. For example, A is for aam, or mango, the national fruit of India. Some of the explanations of the words are too long and ambiguous, such as J is for jangal (jungle), the basis of the classic The Jungle Book, which was published in 1894. N is for nirvaan, a state of being at peace in which you have no feelings or desires. At the end of the book, an authors’ note is helpful to teach children about different languages spoken in India and how the words mentioned in the book are written in Hindi. It would have been helpful to include the pronunciation of those Hindi words to make it easy for the adults who might be unfamiliar with them. For example, the word for L is “ladakee,” pronounced lar-ki. M is for “machhalee,” pronounced mach-lee.
VERDICT Though this book has beautiful illustrations, the text is too challenging and sophisticated for young audiences, yet might be off-putting to older readers.

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