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.
Grandfather tells many stories about his native India in answer to Ravi and Anjali’s questions, such as the tale of a procession of elephants on the feast of Divaali when he was a boy. This story includes facts about life in India, a list of cooking spices, and descriptions of Indian animals.
This warm, multigenerational story offers a glimpse into the distinctive culture and customs of India, while reinforcing universal themes of love and the importance of family. Every day, Rupa’s grandmother wears a beautiful sari. Dadima wears her saris around the house and around the town. Some are made of cotton and some are made of fine silk. Each is brightly colored and very beautiful. Don’t you ever want to wear a gray skirt and red blouse with round buttons like Mommy or a green dress like me? Rupa asks. But Dadima prefers to wear her traditional saris. She shares with her young granddaughter all the wonderful things that saris can do-from becoming an umbrella in a rainstorm to providing a deep pouch to carry seashells collected from the beach. Soon Rupa’s own imagination is sparked as she envisions saris protecting her in the scary Gir Jungle, bandaging up an injured knee, and holding a special secret for her and Dadima to share. Author Kashmira Sheth provides young readers with a unique view of Indian culture and tradition through this affectionate, sensitive portrait of a grandmother and her American granddaughter. Illustrator Yoshiko Jaeggi’s sweeping, colorful, and fanciful watercolor illustrations capture the extraordinary bond of love that unites families across generations despite cultural differences. A note from the author and instructions for wrapping a sari are included.