Deepak's Diwali (Bilingual Diverse Children's Book) - Gujarati/English
Author: Divya Karwal
Illustrator: Doreen Lang
Deepak is having the worst Diwali ever! No sparklers, no fairy lights, and now Deepak is certain Ravana the demon king is after him! This engaging story is part of our "Celebration" series. It's a warm contemporary story, with beautiful illustrations that celebrate Hindu mythology, recipes, and activities.
To access lessons and activities that use this book, visit our Free Multicultural Lesson Plans page.
THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE IN MANY BILINGUAL EDITIONS.
Diwali, also called Deepavali or Divali, is a festival that is significant in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It is known as the "Festival of Lights," and celebrates the victory of good over evil.
In Deepak’s Diwali, it is the eve of Diwali, and Deepak’s grandmother tells him the story of the demon king Ravana who steals the god Rama’s wife, Sita. Deepak spends the first half of the story worried that Ravana is following him, but soon gets into the spirit of the holiday.
This contemporary story explains how the festival is celebrated with sparklers and lights, prayer, and feasting. It mentions the beautiful Rangoli Patterns, which Deepak and his mother create on their doorstep to welcome their visitors, and describes all kinds of delicious foods and treats. The story portrays this holiday as a wonderful family celebration.
Doreen Lang’s illustrations are vibrant and bold. They show Deepak and his friends and family both in everyday clothes as well as dressed in their lovely saris and traditional costumes. The gods described in the legends are depicted beautifully. The illustrations also show diversity as Deepak’s best friend, who is Caucasian, and Deepak’s disabled cousin, who uses a wheelchair, share in all the festivities.
Deepak’s Diwali is a beautiful introduction of Diwali for children who may not be familiar with the holiday. For those children who do celebrate Diwali, it is a lovely depiction of the celebration. As a bonus, in the back of the book, there are recipes for mango lassi and halwa pudding, as well as some Rangoli patterns.
- Maureen Pugh, Culture Connection Newsletter
Mid level text: 2-8 sentences per page. Content also enjoyed by older language learners.