cover image Festival of Colors

Festival of Colors

Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal, illus. by Vashti Harrison. Beach Lane, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4814-2049-5

The Sehgals, the mother-son duo behind A Bucket of Blessings, offer a fittingly vivid introduction to Holi, the springtime Hindu festival of colors, as seen through the eyes of Indian siblings Chintoo and Mintoo. The children collect flowers from their garden to turn into brightly colored powders (“They gather orchids, because orchids make purple”), then gather with everyone they know in the town square to celebrate by throwing the powders on each other. Harrison (Little Leaders: Bold Women), working in a distinctly Disneyesque style, fills a spread with laughing and dancing celebrants, their skin and white clothes covered in dustings of red, yellow, blue, and purple. But the Sehgals also remind readers that “Holi is a festival of fresh starts. And friendship. And forgiveness.” Those already familiar with Holi may wish that the authors had devoted less space to powder preparation (in real life, the afterword notes, “most people buy these powders from the local bazaar”) and more on other aspects of the holiday. But there’s enough brightly colored fun to prompt readers to seek out local Holi celebrations. Ages 2–8. [em]Illustrator’s agent: Carrie Hannigan, Hannigan Salky Getzler. (Jan.) [/em]