The London Jungle Book

The book is a visual travelogue that both mimics and subverts the typical colonial encounter. With radical innocence and great sophistication, Bhajju brings the signs of the Gond forest to bear on the city, turning London into an exotic jungle, a clever beastiary. The London Underground becomes a sinuous snake, Big Ben transforms into a rooster crowing the time, and an airplane — the first Bhajju ever encountered — is compared to an elephant miraculously flying through the air. It is rare to encounter a truly original vision that is capable of startling us into reexamining familiar sights. By breathing the ancient spirit of wonder back into the act of travel, The London Jungle Book does just that.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume VII, Issue 4

Hope is a Girl Selling Fruit

On a train journey to a large city, a young woman notices a very poor girl. Who is she? Where is she going? What does her future hold? Hope Is a Girl Selling Fruit is a gentle, reflective account of a young woman’s thoughts and feelings as she comes into contact with the larger world. The rich imagery takes the story into another realm, inviting the reader to interpret it at many levels. Young Indian artist Amrita Das pushes the boundaries of her traditional art to radical new ends as she muses on women’s mobility, class, and choices.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 8, Issue 3

Bombay Blues

Dimple Lala thought that growing up would give her all the answers, but instead she has more questions than ever. Her boyfriend is distant, her classmates are predictable, and a blue mood has settled around the edges of everything she does. It’s time for a change, and a change is just what Dimple is going to get — of scenery, of cultures, of mind. She thinks she’s heading to Bombay for a family wedding — but really she is plunging into the unexpected, the unmapped, and the uncontrollable. The land of her parents and ancestors has a lot to reveal to her — for every choice we make can crescendo into a jour­ney, every ending can turn into a beginning, and each person we meet can show us something new about ourselves.

Just So Stories

The second volume includes “The Beginning of the Armadilloes,” “How the First Letter Was Written,” “How the Alphabet Was Made,” The Crab That Played with the Sea,” “The Cat That Walked by Himself” and “The Butterfly That Stamped.” The first edition of Just So Stories was published in Great Britain in 1902, along with black-and-white illustrations by Kipling himself. The stories have remained in print ever since, delighting young readers in many countries. This new edition, published more than 110 years after the original, has been edited to remove a few references now understood to be offensive.

A Time To Dance

Padma Venkatraman’s inspiring story of a young girl’s struggle to regain her passion and find a new peace is told lyrically through verse that captures the beauty and mystery of India and the ancient bharatanatyam dance form. This is a stunning novel about spiritual awakening, the power of art, and above all, the courage and resilience of the human spirit. Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance—so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who’s grown used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling. But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her.

The Name of the Blade

When Mio sneaks the family’s katana — a priceless ancestral sword — from her parents’ attic, she just wants to spice up a costume. But the katana is much more than a dusty antique. Awakening the power within the sword unleashes a terrible, ancient evil onto the streets of unsuspecting London. But it also releases Shinobu, a fearless warrior-boy, from the depths of time. He helps to protect Mio — and steals her heart.

The Shadow Hero

In the comics boom of the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle. He solved crimes and fought injustice just like the other comics characters. But this mysterious masked crusader was hiding something more than your run-of-the-mill secret identity. The Green Turtle was the first Asian American super hero. The comic had a short run before lapsing into obscurity, but the author of “American Born Chinese,” Gene Luen Yang, has finally revived this character in “Shadow Hero,” a new graphic novel that creates an origin story for the Green Turtle.

Noodle Magic

Everyone has the magic within! Grandpa Tu is famous for his special noodles, and as the emperor’s birthday approaches, he teaches his granddaughter, Mei, the family trade. Mei struggles to find the magic needed to make noodles. Ultimately, she finds the magic — and the ability to succeed — within. Mei doesn’t just make noodles — her magic noodles in varied shapes and sizes rain down from the sky! Noodle Magic is written in the style of a Chinese folk story, with engaging cultural and community aspects. The family connection that’s at the heart of the story has universal appeal. The grandfather and granddaughter work together to accomplish what one could not do alone.

Of Metal And Wishes

This love story for the ages, set in a re-imagined industrial Asia, is a little dark, a bit breathless, and completely compelling. Sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic, housed in a slaughterhouse staffed by the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor. Wen often hears the whisper of a ghost in the slaughterhouse, a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. And after one of the Noor humiliates Wen, the ghost grants an impulsive wish of hers — brutally. Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including the outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the ghost. As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen is torn between her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat — real or imagined. Will she determine whom to trust before the factory explodes, taking her down with it?