Disclosure: I received a complimentary e-copy of The Diwali Gift for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.
This year, as I am helping plan a cultural play date on Diwali for our Multicultural Moms group (MUMs), I wanted to find a book to share with the kids to teach them about Diwali. I searched our local library but found only non-fiction books more appropriate for older children. As most of those in our group are 5 and under, I really wanted something that would keep their interest and speak to them on their level.
Luckily for me, I was recently contacted by the two mothers that run Three Curious Monkeys, dedicated to sharing the rich culture of India with young children through a lively trio of characters who are eager to explore along with their young readers. (Check out their dress up play app!)
So I was delighted to read The Diwali Gift with my own little monkeys – and they loved it! The three main characters – Suno, Dekho and Jaano – are curious little monkeys (seriously, how would we not love this??) who are also great friends.
Something I love about this book is that is a bona fide story, not just a “teaching” book. Kids will love the mystery of what Suno’s Dadima (paternal grandmother) sent the friends as a Diwali present. What is inside the package? As the friends each have their turn guessing, readers are introduced to different elements of Diwali, such as the special candles, or diyas, frequently used during Diwali celebrations.
I also love that the book appeals equally to those that are already familiar with Diwali and those that are not. So this would be an a wonderful gift for children whose families celebrate Diwali, but it would be just as appropriate for ones whose families have never heard of the festival before. There is a glossary at the back with explanations of common terms, given in simple language. It would be a wonderful book to use in schools as well!
Shweta Chopra and Shuchi Mehta, the two mothers that wrote The Diwali Gift, founded 3 Curious Monkeys because they were frustrated trying to find fun, engaging multicultural books for their little ones. (Wait! Does that sound familiar? You’re right! It is a very similar story to that of the founders of Our Little Loka, whose book Dances of India I reviewed recently. How lucky we are to have such amazing mompreneurs take on the task of filling this gap!) The result is 3 Curious Monkeys, which seeks to “make Indian culture more accessible, relevant and relatable for young children.”
My Monkeys kept asking to read the book over and over – a sign of a real hit! – and I’m looking forward to sharing this book with our friends at our upcoming play date. You can find your own copies on Amazon or iTunes. And I can’t wait to see what the 3 Curious Monkeys do next!
For more great ideas on celebrating Diwali with kids, check out the Diwali Pinterest board from Multicultural Kid Blogs!