Letters to Ammi

May 2022. 40p. Tr $13.95. ISBN 9788193388938.
Gr 3-5–A uniquely told story of a young girl’s experiences in Delhi, her mother’s first home. Despite Abbu’s hesitations, Fatima arrives in Delhi from Jaipur to stay with her Khaalu and Khala, who take her all around the city. Fatima writes to Ammi about each place’s history and the stories she is told, or what she imagines her mother doing there. She visits the Chandri Chouk, the market, Bengali Sweet House, and, among others, Jana Masjid, the largest mosque in Delhi with views of the enormous city. Each spread is a combination of illustration and photography blended together to make a unique and engrossing dose of realism juxtaposed with a dose of fantasy. The text is impossibly small, and the font has letters so close together that it may be difficult for readers to make out words. The detailed map and a Discover Delhi section at the back of the book are helpful for learning more about the city, as are the paragraphs and pictures of six important places there. Certainly a revelation for young people about a city not often portrayed in picture books, Shaikh’s story has a role to play in international studies.
VERDICT The small print detracts from the uniqueness of this picture book about Delhi, and Fatima’s story is almost a footnote to the places she visits. An optional purchase, or where international representation is valued.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing