BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Rich in vibrant colors, Author Jyoti Rajan Gopal weaves an endearing tale of a Tamil boy’s love for his grandmother and her dazzling sari collection. My Paati’s Saris is rooted in culture and self-expression that defies gender norms.
Readers join the young protagonist as he spends the day with his paati (grandmother). Gopal transports her readers to a day in the life of the young boy who spends his time with his paati, threading flowers into garlands for decoration, going to the market, and cooking in the kitchen with the scent of sambar in the air. All though his escapades, the young boy speaks about his love for his paati’s saris even as he narrates the stories associated with each of them. The saris join the conversation, whispering where they were made and how they came to be. The saris swirl. The saris sing. But most importantly they allow him to explore, dare and be.
“My Paati’s saris are my shelter, my home,” the young protagonist says, expressing his deep-rooted connections to his family and culture even as he voices his comfort in just being himself.
Wrapped in incandescent shades of yellow, orange and everything bright and beautiful, My Paati’s saris is a visual treat embellished with intrinsic details, containing pictures of peacocks preening, lotus blooms peeking, and elephants parading. Illustrator Art Twink’s flair for lustrous hues elevates the reading experience, even as it adds dimension and depth to the story of a young boy’s journey to self-discovery through his beloved grandmother’s saris.
So much of ourselves is reflected in our everyday choices – be it our food, friends, or clothes we choose to wear. With clothes (Saris) as her premise, set in a festive tone, Author Gopal invites the reader to celebrate cultures, individualities, and the significance of connecting with families and most of all, ourselves.
Jyoti Rajan Gopal is a writer, mom and Kindergarten teacher. Growing up, she lived in Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, India and China. Twenty-eight years ago, she moved to New York and now lives in Yonkers in a quirky old Victorian with her husband, where they raised their two daughters. Jyoti writes stories that speak to her heart, that reflect her multiple identities, that she wishes her daughters had growing up, that she wishes her students had now. When not writing or teaching, she loves to work in her garden, dance, and explore the many New York State Park trails.
Art Twink is a gender expansive, Bengali American, multi-disciplinary creative. They shape stories to inspire us to survive and build worlds in which to thrive. They are the illustrator of My Rainbow by De Shanna and Trinity Neal. Find their imagination at www.arttwink.com.
MY PAATI’S SARIS by Jyoti Rajan Gopal; illustrated by art twink
On Sale November 8, 2022
Ages 4 – 8 / $18.99