There’s a huge movement in children’s literature towards more diverse books. One of the hopes is that children see themselves in a book. I know that this is often meant to be someone who looks like you. But, I still think it’s important to see someone who feels like you. And if that character looks nothing like you and you are still able to connect to them, even better.
Note: Yali Books provided me with a copy of their book for review purposes. My thoughts, and especially my children’s reactions to it, are all my own.
Yali Books recently released Milky Way. It is about a boy, Tashi, who lives in the mountain district of Ladakh in northern India. In his home among the Himalayas and bordering Tibet, he enjoys looking out at the sky. My kids instantly connected with Tashi. Part of it was because of the colorful illustration in the book, but a big part was because they could easily connect with a boy on the other side of the world who loves the night sky.
With Tashi’s inquisitive nature my kids saw what happens to the moon throughout the month. They followed Tashi’s rhythm of his life. As Tashi wondered about what was happening to his moon, my kids saw his daily routines. When Tashi and his grandmother discussed the moon, my kids learned Buddhist rituals associated with the new moon.
Just like Tashi, my kids had questions. They wanted to know what some of the words meant and what some of the food was. Yali Books helps readers take their books to the next level with multiple resources. In the book is a glossary of terms, details about the setting, and links to both lesson plans (coming soon) and curated resources on Pinterest. Yali also creates wood dolls that make the perfect companion to their books. You can find their dolls on Etsy.
This book is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about this specific region in India, anyone who has a great appreciation for space, and those who want to know a little more about the Buddhist culture.
More information on Milky Way
- Author: Mamta Nainy
- Illustrator: Siddhartha Tripathi
- Find out more about Yali Books.
- Buddha and Buddhism for kids.