Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Review: Bravo, Anjali! by Sheetal Sheth


by Sheetal Sheth
Illustrated by Lucia Soto
Mango & Marigold Press
Picture Book
38 pages
ages 4 to 8


For Anjali, playing the tabla is something that comes naturally. She loves the feel of the drum beneath her fingers and getting lost in the music. But when a boy in her class gives her a hard time for being better than him, she messes up on purpose. When her teacher announces a contest where the winner will get to perform with him at his next concert, Anjali is distraught. Winning the contest would be a dream for Anjali. But it seems like the better she gets, the meaner some of the kids are. In this follow up to the award winning Always Anjali, Anjali realizes that she should never let anyone make her feel bad for being good at something. An important story for all children to remember to ‘never dim their light.’



This books shines with inspiration and joyful illustrations.

Anjali is very good at playing the tabla and enjoys it, too, but when a boy at school begins to bug her about being able to play better than he can, she decides it might make things easier for her to act as if she can't really play that well. That seems to work okay until the teacher announces an upcoming contest. Anjali would really like to give her best and win, but the harder she tries, the more the other kids bug her. Finally, she decides there's only one thing left for her to do.

First off, I really enjoyed the illustrations. Not only do they bring Anjali, the other kids and her family across nicely, but there are scenes, which allow fantasy to also flow in. It gives the entire thing a fun atmosphere and keeps the important message still light.

The author addresses a situation which kids can relate to, while also adding a bit of cultural information and flair. The two slide together seamlessly together, and that while also creating a tale and a character young readers can enjoy. The text is simple enough from the vocabulary end of things but is a little longer, making it not for the youngest reader. It's just right for the intended age group, however, and also works well as a read-aloud. 

The message is inspiring and encourages kids not to bend to those, who don't try to support them. It's definitely a tale which leaves the reader rooting for Anjali and smiling when she succeeds.

1 comment:

Heather N. Quinn said...

That's a great message. We ought not to bend to people who don't support us. But it's so tough to know who we are when we're kids. We try on personalities, and sometimes they don't fit. Important to keep reminding kids that sticking to our values is what helps us to figure out who we truly are.