cover image I’ll Go and Come Back

I’ll Go and Come Back

Rajani LaRocca, illus. by Sara Palacios. Candlewick, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0717-0

Centering a tender grandparent-grandchild relationship, LaRocca (Where Three Oceans Meet) offers an endearing narrator in Jyoti, who is visiting India from America for the first time since infancy. Feeling displaced and lonely, the child despairs, until Sita Pati takes notice and gently envelops Jyoti into her routine: “We spent our days playing and reading and cooking. At night, we sipped warm milk with saffron to bring us sweet dreams.” Sensory details enrich the text while providing room for contrast: in India, “Sita Pati made chapatis, hot-hot, and flipped them with bare fingers. I ate one with spicy okra and cool yogurt rice.” When Sita Pati visits America the next summer, it’s Jyoti’s turn to make her feel welcome: “We made hot-hot quesadillas. I ate them with salsa, and Pati chose coconut chutney.” Warmly patterned and textured illustrations by Palacios (A Song of Frutas), rendered in gouache and acrylic and assembled digitally, further conjure the brown-skinned family and rich dual settings. A loving ode to intergenerational relationships and cultural exchange, beyond borders, years, and language barriers. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Brent Taylor, Triada US. Illustrator’s agent: Kendra Marcus and Minju Chang, Bookstop Literary. (Mar.)