These days, there’s so much intolerance in the world, it’s dismaying. As a mom, I try to counteract the negative messages out there by teaching my kids to celebrate diversity, and by taking time as a family to learn about cultures and religions different from ours. So I’m smitten with this beautiful, gentle, and respectful introduction to Hindu beliefs.
The Little Book of Hindu Deities is a labor of love by Pixar illustrator Sanjay Patel, who was inspired by the art of Japanese animation and the rich tales of Hindu gods and goddesses. Each lively illustration is accompanied by a humorous, playful profile of each traditional deity.
Hinduism and its colorful allegories were new to our family–and absolutely fascinating. Did you know Ganesha has an elephant’s head because his father cut off his original head? Talk about tough love. There are some sweet stories, too, to appeal to the younger crowd, and the wide-eyed smiles of the characters are infectious.
The only complaint I can make is that some readers might have problems with light text on pages with pastel backgrounds. But it’s the pictures that will truly engross the little ones. My son’s already watching over my shoulder, wanting to know why “the pretty lady is riding the tiger.” And if you really love the illustrations and are looking for unique wall decorations, Patel also offers The Big Poster Book of Hindu Deities
, which includes twelve big, beautiful prints perfect for multicultural decor–or the nursery of a future world traveler. –Delilah