Reviews: Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji

And another excellent review for HOT HOT ROTI FOR DADA-JI! It isn't posted online yet, but here's the review from Booklist.


"When his grandfather, Dada-ji, tells Aneel a story from his boyhood, he describes superheroic feats

achieved by eating stacks of “hot, hot roti” (flat, unleavened bread). Other family members are too busy to make roti for Dada-ji, so Aneel takes matters into his own hands, mixes the ingredients, and cooks them with his grandmother. After devouring their roti, Aneel and his grandfather enjoy backyard adventures that resemble those in Dada-ji’s story. Salted with light humor, the conversations reveal a loving relationship in a story that also introduces Hindi family terms and foods (aided by an appended glossary). Rendered in acrylic and colored pencil, the slightly stylized cartoon illustrations reflect the humor and warmth of the grandfather-grandson bond. This delightful slice of Hindi culture will add an East Indian dimension to multicultural and food studies."

 Another great review of HOT, HOT ROTI FOR DADA-JI, this one on Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup. This one includes a recipe for tongue-burning mango pickle!


"Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji (Lee & Low Books, 2011) contains all the ingredients I love most in a children's story: food, family, and high octane fun. I can say unequivocally that it's my favorite picture book thus far about contemporary Indian American life. How to blend the old with the new? Find an interesting way to bridge the generations? Introduce young readers to an unfamiliar culture? Lace a story with tasty specifics that tap into universal themes? Debut author F. Zia accomplishes all these things with her beautifully crafted "story within a story" that never misses a beat and is an absolute hoot to read aloud.

Baba, there are so many things to love about this book: the close, heartwarming relationship between grandfather and grandson, the liberal use of sound effects to amp up the fun, the seamless integration of Hindi words in the highly emotive text, and the overall exuberant pluckiness of the narrative. Roti is the perfect bridge between past and present, and I love the emphasis on making it, step by step. The tastiest, most satisfying food is always made with love, and we truly feel Aneel's respect, admiration, and affection for Dada-ji. Zia skillfully balances the two stories and nicely connects "then" with "now." This is a wonderful portrait of intergenerational dynamics that ultimately showcases the enduring power of good old-fashioned storytelling.


Ken Min's lively colored pencil and acrylic illos beautifully incorporate elements of East Indian culture in a contemporary Western setting. The combination of double full-bleed spreads, story panels, and playful perspectives makes every page turn a delight. Of course my favorite spreads are the ones of Aneel making the roti -- the look of serene pride and accomplishment on his face as he shapes those dough balls is priceless, and his tongue sticking out in intense concentration as he works that rolling pin nicely echoes Dada-ji's anticipatory tongue on the cover. The tall stack of cooked roti is a delicious tall tale in itself, and what about that spiraling queue of villagers waiting for Badi-ma's roti? Just like the tiger power being unleashed from within Dada-ji! ARRE WAH!"


Here's the next one--a great review and giveaway of HOT HOT ROTI FOR DADA-JI on the blog Mommy Ramblings. Follow the link here:

"I think as parents we should introduce diversity early in our childrens’ lives.  If they know from an early age that people are different, then there will be no big deal and acceptance will be natural.  I think it is important for young children to know people come in different colors, follow different religions and are of different cultures.  I have always had books that showed diversity to my children from the earliest stages, there are many board books in my house that introduce diversity.  When Lee & Low Books suggested this title, I was intrigued.




Ethan and I enjoyed the book that was delightful to read and showed the love of a family through generations."