Bravo Anjali! by Sheetal Sheth, the second Anjali book appearing after Always Anjali, will fairly jump from bookstore shelves with dazzling colors, stars, swirls, and yes, the beautiful Indian girl, Anjali. London-based illustrator Lucia Soto beautifully depicts a lively classroom full of wide-eyed, diverse children, each with a uniqueness of expression that parents and children everywhere will recognize and love. The illustrator’s exquisite details in Anjali’s living room should not be overlooked either.
But the illustrations provide the frame for a goldmine of a story about a young girl playing tabla—a typically male practice. Within the tale, important messages are brought forward. In just over thirty gorgeous pages, the author smoothly navigates a bully in the classroom, jealousy, an upstander in the restroom, frustration, rage, determination, success, and an apology. Bravo Anjali!, simply written for children, packs a punch of powerful messaging that young children need to hear. For in the sharing of this story, young people will understand that they can do wonders in this world by taking ownership of their true interests and going forth with confident pizazz.
I highly recommend this book for young children, ages three to eight perhaps. I think pre-school and elementary classrooms and libraries everywhere should keep a copy of this on hand.