GOODNIGHT GANESHA, by Nadia Salomon and Poonam Mistry, Philomel Books, Aug. 31, 2021, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 3-7)
Goodnight Ganesha, by Nadia Salomon and illustrated by Poonam Mistry, celebrates the nighttime rituals of two children visiting their grandparents in India.
Seen through the eyes of the two children, India comes to life as they settle down to gently say goodnight to the world around them. They start by saying goodnight to a framed picture of Hindu god, Ganesha, then they bid adieu to everything around their grandparents’ home from the windows, to the bowls of fresh marigolds, and to the droning planes. Whether they light incense, tell traditional stories, snuggle with nana, or look at the night sky, there are many moments that make this time together special. —Synopsis provided by Philomel Books
Goodnight Ganesha is probably one of the most beautiful picture books I’ve come across in recent memory. Illustrator Poonam Mistry’s talent is undeniable. Each turn of the page delivers incredible detail through line and rich color. It’s one of those books where you’d be happy to hang a framed print of the artwork on your wall.But Goodnight Ganesha isn’t just about the illustrations. Nadia Salomon’s rhythmic text is more than just a framework, it’s an ode to family, tradition and nighttime routine. I love the addition of the glossary at the end, which helps readers understand references and place moments within context of their own lives.
As soon as my 7-year-old saw Goodnight Ganesha she wanted to take ownership — partly because of the illustrations and partly because she’s been reading about gods and goddesses in other cultures. So though it’s aimed for younger kids, it does have a wide age-range appeal. I would not hesitate giving it as a gift.
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