There is Roti in my Lunchbox

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9780993895517: There is Roti in my Lunchbox
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“There is Roti in my lunch box” is a story about Neha, a 6-year-old second generation Indian-American girl, who is trying to understand why the food in her lunch box is always so different from what her friends bring.

In her attempt to understand the cultural diversity around, she explores her own complex identity: She expresses her need to feel part of the community she finds herself in, eat the food her friends eat and not feel singled out; but at the same time, she wants to accept and feel pride of her unique cultural heritage.

... and everyone stares. What is THAT? There is roti in my lunch box. I love to eat roti and vegetables at home, but no one at school knows anything about rotis. Everyone starts laughing. They all call my food funny. I never want roti for lunch again.

Neha’s character is a part of many American households. It is the story of a perceptive and sensitive young child caught between two cultures, and of parents trying to help her craft an identity that is whole and complete.

This book touches on issues not typically addressed in picture books, and fills an important void in children’s literature for this group of children who are particularly vulnerable to feeling marginalized and different.

Five Star Publications and the judges of Purple Dragonfly Book Awards recognize excellence in children’s literature. ‘There is Roti in my Lunchbox’ won Honorable Mention in the picture book, Cultural Diversity Category.

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About the Author:

During the day, Niyati is a Clinical Researcher, Biologist, packer-of-lunchboxes, PTA participant and a boo-boo healer. At night she moonlights as a story-teller, spinning tales to answer the darnedest questions posed by her twin daughters.

Her stories are mostly inspired by her own experiences of being an immigrant student and then a first generation Indian-American mother. Her stories focus on questions, concerns and feelings children have as they are being raised by parents who grew up in a different culture than theirs, which encourages them to create their own unique identity that is whole and complete.

She founded KidzBelong to meet a pressing need to have picture books address needs of children of immigrant families who are particularly vulnerable to feeling marginalized and different.

Her books 'Where is my Grandma' won first place and 'There is Roti in my LunchBox' won honourable mention in the 2016 Purple Dragonfly award for cultural Diversity. The Purple Dragonfly awards recognize excellence in children's literature. See more about her team at www.kidzbelong.com

Niyati lives with her husband and twin daughters in Denver.

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Desai-Kadakia, Niyati
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