Go
Classic Search  |  Browse  |  Combination  |  Help  |  My Account
 
 

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh

by Supriya Kelkar

Kirkus Indian American Harpreet Singh is a practicing Sikh and has a different color patka, or head covering, for every occasion.He wears yellow when he feels sunny and cheerful, pink when he feels like celebrating, and red when he wants to feel brave. When his mother gets a job in a small snowy town across the country, Harpreet is apprehensive about the move despite his parents' assurance that it will be an adventure. Harpreet begins to wear colors for not-so-happy occasions: He wears blue to the airport because he's nervous and gray when he's sad. Most often of all, however, Harpreet wears white, as he feels shy and doesn't want to be seen. Will Harpreet ever feel like his cheerful self in his new home? Kelkar's telling of Harpreet's story is crisp and straightforward, and Marley's bright illustrations tactfully and subtly convey cultural differences that make Harpreet feel different from and invisible to his peers. In the lunchroom scene with all the other children, for example, Harpreet has in front of him a large plate of traditional Indian chapati (bread) and dal (lentils), whereas his peers are shown munching on more "American" dishes (like cake). An afterword by Simran Jeet Singh, a scholar and professor of Sikhism, helps contextualize this story for readers who are not familiar with the religion.This simple yet sensitive story about a child coming to terms with things beyond his control will resonate across cultures. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

School Library Journal K-Gr 2—Harpreet cherishes his colorful patkas, a style of Sikh turban often worn by young boys, and he carefully selects the color to telegraph his mood each day: "He wore yellow when he felt sunny, spreading cheer everywhere he went. He wore pink when he felt like celebrating, bopping along to bhangra beats." When Harpreet and his family leave the warm beaches of California for a snowy town across the country, Harpreet's color palette changes as he relies on brave reds, nervous blues, sad grays, and shy whites which replace his happier moods. The long cold winter makes Harpreet feel even more like an outsider, until one day in the snow he finds a hat that belongs to a classmate. When he returns the hat, a friendship blooms and Harpreet feels colorful again. The digital illustrations depict Harpreet as joyful and exuberant, which makes his shift to sadness and isolation after the move palpable. Subtle details in the illustrations, such as kids staring at Harpreet's "different" lunch, position him not only as the new kid, but underscore his feelings of isolation as a cultural outsider. Harpreet's symbolic color system is used masterfully to add depth to the illustrations, as on the page where Harpreet sits, small and alone wearing shy white, on a background of joyful celebratory pink as a cascade of Valentines—most with his name misspelled—floats away. VERDICT A lovely story about change and belonging that provides much-needed representation. A first purchase for all libraries.—Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list A young boy copes with change through self-expression in this wonderful picture book. Harpreet wears different colored patkas, a common head covering worn by young Sikh boys, to highlight how he feels each day. From celebratory to unsure, the colors allow him to nonverbally communicate his state of mind in an effective way. When it is time to move across the country, away from the sunny beaches he loves to a snowier climate, his anxiety is demonstrated this way as well. From nervousness to shyness, the color of his patka signals his unhappiness about the change, until chance helps him make a new friend with a special “hat” of her own. The fantastic illustrations perfectly complement the storytelling, and the ending is sure to make young readers smile. The note at the end from a Sikh scholar helps explain the religion and the significance of the turbans practitioners wear. This tale of acceptance and growth is a definitive purchase for children’s collections, and will be shared for years to come.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Kirkus Indian American Harpreet Singh is a practicing Sikh and has a different color patka, or head covering, for every occasion.He wears yellow when he feels sunny and cheerful, pink when he feels like celebrating, and red when he wants to feel brave. When his mother gets a job in a small snowy town across the country, Harpreet is apprehensive about the move despite his parents' assurance that it will be an adventure. Harpreet begins to wear colors for not-so-happy occasions: He wears blue to the airport because he's nervous and gray when he's sad. Most often of all, however, Harpreet wears white, as he feels shy and doesn't want to be seen. Will Harpreet ever feel like his cheerful self in his new home? Kelkar's telling of Harpreet's story is crisp and straightforward, and Marley's bright illustrations tactfully and subtly convey cultural differences that make Harpreet feel different from and invisible to his peers. In the lunchroom scene with all the other children, for example, Harpreet has in front of him a large plate of traditional Indian chapati (bread) and dal (lentils), whereas his peers are shown munching on more "American" dishes (like cake). An afterword by Simran Jeet Singh, a scholar and professor of Sikhism, helps contextualize this story for readers who are not familiar with the religion.This simple yet sensitive story about a child coming to terms with things beyond his control will resonate across cultures. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

School Library Journal K-Gr 2—Harpreet cherishes his colorful patkas, a style of Sikh turban often worn by young boys, and he carefully selects the color to telegraph his mood each day: "He wore yellow when he felt sunny, spreading cheer everywhere he went. He wore pink when he felt like celebrating, bopping along to bhangra beats." When Harpreet and his family leave the warm beaches of California for a snowy town across the country, Harpreet's color palette changes as he relies on brave reds, nervous blues, sad grays, and shy whites which replace his happier moods. The long cold winter makes Harpreet feel even more like an outsider, until one day in the snow he finds a hat that belongs to a classmate. When he returns the hat, a friendship blooms and Harpreet feels colorful again. The digital illustrations depict Harpreet as joyful and exuberant, which makes his shift to sadness and isolation after the move palpable. Subtle details in the illustrations, such as kids staring at Harpreet's "different" lunch, position him not only as the new kid, but underscore his feelings of isolation as a cultural outsider. Harpreet's symbolic color system is used masterfully to add depth to the illustrations, as on the page where Harpreet sits, small and alone wearing shy white, on a background of joyful celebratory pink as a cascade of Valentines—most with his name misspelled—floats away. VERDICT A lovely story about change and belonging that provides much-needed representation. A first purchase for all libraries.—Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list A young boy copes with change through self-expression in this wonderful picture book. Harpreet wears different colored patkas, a common head covering worn by young Sikh boys, to highlight how he feels each day. From celebratory to unsure, the colors allow him to nonverbally communicate his state of mind in an effective way. When it is time to move across the country, away from the sunny beaches he loves to a snowier climate, his anxiety is demonstrated this way as well. From nervousness to shyness, the color of his patka signals his unhappiness about the change, until chance helps him make a new friend with a special “hat” of her own. The fantastic illustrations perfectly complement the storytelling, and the ending is sure to make young readers smile. The note at the end from a Sikh scholar helps explain the religion and the significance of the turbans practitioners wear. This tale of acceptance and growth is a definitive purchase for children’s collections, and will be shared for years to come.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.