In a recent box of books sent to me by a publisher, Ganesha Goes Green by Lakshmi Thamizhmani was included. At first, it was a bit awkward. The pronunciation of some words did not come naturally to me, therefore, it took a minute or two to get into it. But once I did this story about conservation, while keeping true to the culture and holiday, was worth it. Not only do you learn about Indian culture, and the holiday Ganesha Chaturthi, you learn about how Prema and her friends are able to help their community. The Ganesha statues they use in the celebrations are made of materials that are polluting the water and environment. Therefore, a young girl (Prema) wants a more friendly way to honor this God. Through trial and error, a solution is found. One that is not immediately embraced by others (the adults and of course, the statue seller), but one that eventually will be beneficial to all.
Debasmita Dasgupta’s illustrations are Barefoot Books ready. The people and places of India are not “realistic” but not cartoonish either. My first thought when seeing them was that they represented things well and showed the unique beauty of the area. For me, this made me more invested in the situation, and wanting more.
In September 2023 both a hardcover and paper edition will be available. I would go with hardcover personally, as this is a book you’ll want to keep and will read again. Great if you like environmental stories, stories of India, world books and books about kids making a difference. Could work for most ages, but the action is not “exciting” so maybe it is not for the more active child.