PRIYA DREAMS OF MARIGOLDS & MASALA
Author: Meenal Patel
Illustrator: Meenal Patel
ISBN: 9781643439556
Publisher: Beaver’s Pond Press (2019)
Age Range: 4-8
Grade Level: 1-2

Amazon Synopsis: Priya lives in the United States and her family is from India. She feels the magic of the place her family comes from through her Babi Ba’s colorful descriptions of India–from the warm smell of spices to the swish-swish sound of a rustling sari. Together, Priya and Babi Ba make their heritage live on through the traditions that they infuse into their everyday lives. Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala is a celebration of the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren, the threads that connect each of us to our heritage, and the power of sharing our traditions with others.

My Review

Like the warm and cozy tone of the pages, “Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala” is an inviting, inspirational message to kids of all colors, backgrounds, genders, religious and spiritual beliefs, etc. to embrace all of the things that make us unique, amazing individuals.

Priya rushes home from school every day to help her Babi Ba make roti a flatbread and common staple in her family. Every day Priya asks Babi Ba about India and every day, Babi Ba shares with her granddaughter the history of India by telling hers stories about everything from the special spices used for cooking to the beautiful fabrics of the saris worn by Indian women. When Priya wonders if Babi Ba misses India, her grandmother tells Priya that India is always with her inside. When Priya goes to school the next day, she shares the history of India with her classmates and together they make something special for Babi Ba.

This is such a beautiful book, lovingly produced from the heart of author/illustrator, Meenal Patel. The emphasis on the importance of family, tradition and being proud of your roots shines through the colorful captivating illustrations and storyline.  I love, love, love the way Babi Ba shares stories of India with Priya and it reminds me of my own grandmother, who was the marvelous storyteller in my family that kept our history alive.  It’s so important that we teach our kids the history and traditions of our families – it’s an essential source of belonging and instills a great sense of belonging.

The illustrations are phenomenal and give the reader a real peek into India with their vibrant colors and the warm, engaging tones add depth to an already stunning storyline.

The back of the book features a two-page reference with a bit of history about India, Marigolds and definitions and pronunciations of some of the Indian words used in the story. This is a helpful addition to the story, really bringing readers into all of the special attributes that make up India.

I loved the Author’s Note in the back of the book. Living a “normal” life in the US, it wasn’t until Meenal was an adult visiting India when the realization hits her that she has many different sides to her identity and all of those sides make up who she is today.  It’s an indispensable message she shares through the story of Priya and I highly recommend this beautiful book to adults and kids of all ages!

About the Author/Illustrator

Learn more about Meenal Patel:

Website: https://www.meenalpatelstudio.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meenal_land/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/meenalpatel/

Follow Beaver’s Pond Press:

Website: https://www.beaverspondpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beaverspondpress
Twitter https://twitter.com/bppress
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beaverspondpresspublishing/

Review Copy

This book was provided to me by the author in collaboration with Multicultural Children’s Book Day, January 31,2020. Learn more about the event here:

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year!

This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators. 

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Super Platinum

Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings,

Platinum

Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls,

Gold

Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS : A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press,

Silver

 Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,

Bronze

Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers BooksTimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales

Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture GrooveLauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

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