Are there any award winning picture books that highlight India?
One picture book hit the lottery for American recognition. Finders Keepers? A True Story in India, by Robert Arnett and illustrated by SmitaTurakhia (Atman Press, 2003) is stunning, not only in its depiction of Indian culture, but also in the thoughtful message that it conveys. If you are looking for a book in the category picture book- India, this should be one of the first to seek.
Arnett, an award winning American author and speaker used his background knowledge of India to create a special retelling of an episode that occurred while he lived in India. The setting begins on a lively bus ride to Mt. Abu in Rajasthan, India’s largest state which is located in the northwest part of the country.
Turakhia’s realistic illustrations and Arnett’s choice of words allows the reader to capture the essence of what Arnett experienced when a young boy refused to accept monetary compensation for doing the right thing. Turakhia used her own childhood memories to make her vibrant drawings bounce off each page. She received her training in India and the U.S.
Primary and middle school teachers can explore the following topics:
- The relationship between a book’s title and its meaning
- The effect of authentic illustrations on the content of the book
- Cultural awareness- tolerance of others
- Vocabulary words
- Traveling in India
- Indian customs- actions, words, traditions, clothing, and foods
- Common aspects of two beliefs- Christianity and Hinduism
- Dharma- a Hindu belief that one does the right thing regardless of the circumstance
The accolades for this book were so effusive, I couldn’t resist purchasing a copy. I’m glad that I added it to my collection.
- IPPY Ten Outstanding Books of the Year
- IPPY Most Inspirational to Youth Book
- Mom’s Choice Award – Best Educational Picture Book
- Benjamin Franklin Silver Award Â— Multicultural
- National Parenting Center Seal of Approval