Monday, March 9, 2020

March #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on Festival of Colors with Co-Authors Kabir & Surishtha Sehgal

Today I'm shining the spotlight on #cbadspotlight pick 
Festival of Colors,
with co-authors 
Kabir & Surishtha Sehgal
and their other books A Bucket of Blessings, The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk, Thread of Love, & P Is for Poppadoms!: An Indian Alphabet Book 
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Learn all about Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, in this lush picture book from bestselling mother/son duo Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal.

Spring is here, and it’s almost time for Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors. Siblings Mintoo and Chintoo are busy gathering flowers to make into colorful powders to toss during the festival. And when at last the big day comes, they gather with their friends, family, and neighbors for a vibrant celebration of fresh starts, friendship, forgiveness, and, of course, fun!

Thank you, Kabir, for joining me for a #cbadspotlight interview today!

o   What was your inspiration for writing this book?
The inspiration is our motherland of India. Surishtha was born in India and experienced joyous Indian festivals such as Holi. We thought this jubilant springtime tradition would make for a vibrant and welcoming picture book. We are so delighted with how Festival of Colors turned out. 

o   What message do you hope kids (of all ages) take away from this book?
We hope that children learn about Holi. It’s a festival in which there is so much joy. Throughout the festival, everyone puts color on each other. At the end, everyone is covered in colors. It’s like a rainbow of colors has enveloped everyone! Through learning about Holi, children will also learn about life in India and how we ought to celebrate traditions from around the world.

o   What was your writing & revision process like for this story?
We wanted to “get out of the way” of the story. So that means writing the story with the fewest words so that the colors and flowers could be the protagonists. There is a fuller description of Holi in the author’s note at the end, to put the story in context. It took us a few revisions to pare the book down to what it was always meant to be.

o   Was there any part of the process where you worked together on the vision for this book?
Yes. Like all of our books, we truly appreciate our mother-son collaboration. We exchange ideas and don’t get too attached to them. We want what’s best for the story and reader.

o   What is your favorite part of making picture books? 
Collaborating as a family. We are a mother and son writing duo. And it’s a joy to be able to write together and share our stories with children and parents alike.

o   #cbadspotlight is putting the spotlight on inclusive #ownvoices books. What can you share with students about the connection you have to this book or the choices you made while writing/illustrating it to add diverse representation?
All our books feature characters and stories from India. We think it’s important that children experience diversity from an early age, to prepare them for the world. Festival of Colors is a fun book because it’s all about sharing in a colorful experience with each other. It’s a personal story for us because it’s a tradition we experience every year.

o   #classroombookaday is a goal to read aloud a picture book every day of the school year to students at any grade. What would you like to say to the teachers who are taking on this challenge?
Thank you for making this commitment. What you’re doing is beautiful and important. You’re not only boosting literacy of children but also helping to expand their imagination and encourage their creativity. 

Be sure to check out all of the #cbadspotlight choices for this school year!
Visit for more information on #classroombookaday,
a goal to read aloud a picture book every day of the school year, at any grade,
inspired by Donalyn Miller's #bookaday.

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