By Surbhi Gogia
Indian culture and Hindu festivals are more than just dressing up and dancing on Bollywood numbers. However, there are not many resources in Canada that will equip parents on how to talk to their kids about the importance of these festivals. But now there is a good news for those parents.
Anita Badhwar, who grew up in Toronto, Canada, felt the need the same need and came up with a book series Little Princess Rani and the Palace Adventures. This book series presents information about Hindu festivals and Indian culture to readers, 6-8 years of age. Each book has an entertaining story and also includes an information/factual page at the end. Little Princess Rani lives in India. She has a pet parrot named Hari and a pet elephant named Bindi. Rani likes to travel, read and draw. Rani loves celebrating festivals. Rani has a sweet tooth, so she thinks the best part of festivals is eating ALL the yummy mithai (sweets)!
Anita Badhwar grew up in Canada and moved to the United States in 2000. Anita caught the “writing bug” after one of her creative writing stories in fourth grade was published with a local newspaper. After a visit to India in 2012, she decided that it was the ideal opportunity to work on her life-long dream of pursuing a writing career, particularly writing a series of children’s books based on the charming character of Little Princess Rani. Her primary motivation to write the series was to present educational information about Indian culture and festivals in a fun, engaging manner, so that children of Indian descent can take pride in their heritage. It is through this book series that she is able share her rich and beautiful Indian culture. Anita lives in Gainesville, FL with her husband, two children, and of course, her lovable dog Buddy.
Anita already has written 6 books under this series which include topics like Ganesh Chaturthi, Rakhi, Holi, Taj Mahal, Diwali etc. “All of the books have a story with a few Hindi words with English translations, which can help a parent introduce Hindi words to their children. Also, each book has facts about the topic woven into the story. For example, in the first book, Rani Saves Diwali, the palace’s royal decorator has an accident, so Rani comes up with a plan to ensure that the Diwali decorations are completed before puja. With the help of Hari (Rani’s pet parrot) and her lady-in-waiting, Jaya, the decorations (lights, diyas, rangoli) are finished just in time for puja,” she says.
The second book titled, Rani and the Safari Surprise! is a story in which Rani goes on a jungle tour which teaches the reader (and Rani!) about animals native to India. And in my third book, Rani Visits the Taj Mahal (to be released this month), readers will be able to learn about this world famous monument. At the end of all the books in the series I have a page which provides additional information so that children and parents can read and learn more about the topic if they wish.
Rani’s Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration talks about the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi which honors the elephant-headed Hindu God, Ganesh. . Rani is not sure that the Ganesh murthi used in the visarjan (immersion of the idol in the river) is eco-friendly. Rani thinks up a plan that will allow them to celebrate the festival in a pollution-free way.
To find out more about Little Princess Rani and her adventures visit http://www.littleprincessrani.com. All books may be purchased at amazon.com or amazon.ca.