Review: The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar, illustrated by Alea Marley (9781454931843)

Harpreet loves to express himself through the colors he wears, particularly the colors of his patka. Yellow was for when he felt sunny, pink for celebrating, red for courage, and blue for when he was nervous. When Harpreet moved across the country to a snowy city, he stopped wearing his colors. Instead, day after day, he wore white to match the cold outdoors and to be invisible. His parents tried to get him to wear different colors again, but he refused. Then one day, he discovered one of his classmate’s yellow hat in the snow and returned it to her. He loved the yellow and the smiley face on it. She loved his patka too. Steadily, Harpreet started to wear colors again, this time to celebrate a new friend.

Kelkar beautifully depicts the power of color in a little boy’s life while celebrating his Sikh religion at the same time. She takes the time to show what each color represents, along with the illustrations depicting what bravery, joy and nerves mean to him personally. The story is tightly written, focused on the nerves and loneliness of moving and finding your way. This focus makes the discovery of a new friend all the more powerful.

Marley’s illustrations show the range of colors that Harpreet has for his patka along with their matching outfits. Harpreet’s emotions, both joyous and sad, are clearly depicted in facial expressions and in body language. It is a huge relief when Harpreet’s world starts to be multicolored again.

Diverse and colorful, this picture book is anything but dull. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: Big Breath by William Meyer

Big Breath by William Meyer

Big Breath by William Meyer (9781608686339)

This book is one of the most successful meditation books I have seen for young people. It promises to be a guided meditation for children and really lives up to that. Both the text and the images work together to carry children through a series of breath and imagery exercises that will lead to calmness and being centered. It is presented as an adventure where you first pay attention to the sound of your breath. You then picture your thoughts and allow them to blow away with your breath like clouds on the wind. You send your breath into your hands and imagine yourself opening a surprise present. You send your breath into your toes, thinking of all the places you traveled today. Then you let all of that go, and just breathe.

This is a book about simple yet profound approaches to meditation that make it fun and friendly. The attention is on the process but also on the way that you feel afterwards. Throughout the book, ties to nature and the way that you fit into nature play across the pages along with the concise yet vibrant instructions.

The illustrations really lift this book. Filled with watercolors, they swirl and dance on the page. They offer imagery and lead into the meditation processes with a friendly colorful guidance that also shows that people do things differently and that’s OK.

A great book for children on meditation. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.