Thrity Umrigar shares SUGAR IN MILK and BINNY’S DIWALI. These books represent two different strands of Thrity's life this year, as she puts it. Artist Khoa Le lends exquisite illustrations to SUGAR IN MILK to tell a story within a story of a girl who has recently immigrated to America and struggles to feel she belongs. The girl’s auntie comforts her with the timeless tale of an Indian king, a group of Persian refugees, and a full glass of milk. BINNY’S DIWALI is a celebration in lights and community, brought vibrantly to the page with the help of Nidhi Chanani’s colorful art.
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ON TODAY'S EPISODE (#635):
A timely and timeless picture book about immigration that demonstrates the power of diversity, acceptance, and tolerance from a gifted storyteller.
When I first came to this country, I felt so alone.
A young immigrant girl joins her aunt and uncle in a new country that is unfamiliar to her. She struggles with loneliness, with a fierce longing for the culture and familiarity of home, until one day, her aunt takes her on a walk. As the duo strolls through their city park, the girl's aunt begins to tell her an old myth, and a story within the story begins.
A long time ago, a group of refugees arrived on a foreign shore. The local king met them, determined to refuse their request for refuge. But there was a language barrier, so the king filled a glass with milk and pointed to it as a way of saying that the land was full and couldn't accommodate the strangers. Then, the leader of the refugees dissolved sugar in the glass of milk. His message was clear: Like sugar in milk, our presence in your country will sweeten your lives. The king embraced the refugee, welcoming him and his people. The folktale depicted in this book was a part of author Thrity Umrigar's Zoroastrian upbringing as a Parsi child in India, but resonates for children of all backgrounds, especially those coming to a new homeland.
Binny woke up happy but nervous. It was her day to share about Diwali, the Festival of Lights!
Binny is excited to talk to her class about her favorite holiday. But she struggles to find the words.
Taking a deep breath, she tells her classmates about the fireworks that burst like stars in the night sky, leaving streaks of gold and red and green. She shares with them delicious pedas and jalebis. And she shows them clay lamps, called diyas, which look so pretty all the children ooh and aah.
Featuring a heartwarming story by Thrity Umrigar, enchanting illustrations by Nidhi Chanani, and detailed information about the Hindu festival of lights, Binny's Diwali is a holiday treat.
Thrity Umrigar (website)
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