July 21, 2022


American Desi by Jyoti Rajan Gopal and Supriya Kelkar takes readers on a journey to the intersection of identity, culture, and family.

A young girl who culturally identifies as an American and as an Indian hopes to understand where she belongs. Like, if she loves Bollywood movies and hip-hop equally, does she have to choose one or the other? Or if she enjoys wearing pavadais just as much as she likes wearing jersey shirts, does she have to pick one or can she wear a combination of the two? Eventually she comes to realize that she doesn't have to be limited in how she identifies herself, just as long as she is always true to herself.

At the outset of the book, Kelkar focuses each page on a different color of the rainbow, giving each color its moment of glory, and then the colors come crashing together as the girl shows readers how she balances her two identities. The illustrations were created with cut and torn paper, fabrics, mixed media, and digital collage, rendered in Procreate and Photoshop, perfectly encapsulating visually how the young girl must feel emotionally: like a chaotically beautiful mixture of many influences.

American Desi published last month from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers!

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