Bindiya in India

Mango & Marigold. Jan. 2021. 38p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781645437130.
Gr 1-4–Nine-year-old Bindiya goes on her very first adventure to India to attend a cousin’s wedding. She is delighted to meet her extended family at the airport. Bindiya blossoms while partaking in a medley of activities and becomes acquainted with her roots. Listening to anecdotes from her grandparents, eating scrumptious sweets, and adorning her hands with traditional henna tattoos are just a few of her favorite things. Bindiya discovers invaluable family customs while experiencing the radiant atmosphere of India. The unfamiliar is now familiar as Bindiya embraces her culture while unwrapping the greatest gift of all—family. Chheda writes a triumphant bilingual tale about a little girl exploring her heritage, while also presenting a window into the experience of an Indian wedding from a child’s perspective. English and Hindi words coexist in the pages; a glossary with translations of some Hindi words can be found in the back matter. Readers meet interesting characters like the mischievous Bandar or Monkey. The vivid illustrations emulate the wedding festivities and brilliantly intertwine with the narrative. Dasgupta’s vibrant portrayals capture the heart of India, from the characters’ brown skin and expressions behind the lined eyes to the fluffy waves of hair and intricate details of the wedding attire.
VERDICT A joyful glimpse into Indian culture, this is a charming and authentic story that all children will find relatable. A strong choice for picture book collections, especially where titles in Hindi are needed.

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