An assimilated child of the Indian diaspora finds herself culturally challenged when her grandmother visits her family in North America.
Maya misses her grandmother and wishes she would visit rather than sending her postcards from many miles away. A few weeks later, Maya has a special surprise waiting for her: Grandma has come to visit! But Maya’s excitement doesn’t last long. Maya prefers cupcakes to her grandmother’s homemade sweets; when her grandmother visits her school, she is embarrassed by Grandma’s sari and her loud voice; most of all, Maya does not like it when her Grandma calls her “Mayalakshmi.” The narrative comes to a head when Maya loses sight of her family during a trip to an amusement park, and she and her grandmother find each other in more ways than one. Balasubramaniam’s honest first-person text and Leng’s soft line-and-color illustrations—which deftly and sympathetically convey the intensity of Maya’s feelings—explore familial love and the intricacies of cross-cultural and intergenerational relationships between very young children and their grandparents. Maya and her family are Indian and celebrate Holi; they live in a vibrant, diverse urban setting. The use of English names (Grandma, Mother, Father) may strike children like Maya as odd, but it is inclusive of a broad range of children with South Asian heritage.
Sweet and honest. (Picture book. 4-7)