A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows notable aspects of Indian and American culture from a kid's point of view.
Every part of a multicultural background is valued and important.
Positive Role Models
The main character shows gratitude that her family embraces all the varied parts of the cultures and that make her whole.
Indian culture is centered, with an Indian American family beautifully combining two cultures.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that American Desi, by Jyoti Rajan Gopal, is a gorgeous celebration of the ways Indian and American backgrounds combine in a family's life. ("Desi" refers to people of Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi heritage who live in another country.) Eye-catching illustrations by Supriya Kelkar splash color across the pages as a young girl recounts the many differences in food, clothes, rituals, and events, and the smaller differences in colors, sounds, and sports. There's joy, love, and gratitude throughout the book, and a lot of ways for young readers to see how the two cultures are both similar and different.
Is It Any Good?
This gorgeous, warm picture book celebrates the differences in big moments and small details that are part of a multicultural life, centering the everyday life of an Indian American family. American Desi makes moments remarkable with a loving theme of inclusion, that the family gives space to grow and there's no need to hide any part of the person the child is becoming as she navigates and celebrates her past and her present. The illustrations are especially engaging, full of colors and textures that reflect a blended life.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Books That Promote Diversity and Inclusion
Books with Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Characters
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