The Yellow Suitcase
The Yellow Suitcase
Publisher's Hardcover14.41
Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover20.92
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Annotation: Asha travels with her parents from America to India to mourn her grandmother's passing. Asha's grief and anger are compounded by the empty yellow suitcase usually reserved for gifts to and from Grandma.
Catalog Number: #183709
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Sethi, Meera,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-9996584-1-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-9996584-1-3
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Asha's family travels from California to India every summer. It's a tradition for Asha to pack her yellow suitcase with gifts for her grandmother and return with it filled with gifts that her grandmother has been making and collecting for her all year. Only this visit is different. Grandma has passed away, and the family is there for the funeral. Readers will smile at Asha's eclectic fashion sense: Frida Kahlo socks with sneakers, a yellow baseball cap over her long braids. This and other cheerful, brightly colored motifs contrast sharply with Asha's grief. She isolates herself while the family goes through the funeral rites, her sadness welling up until it bursts. This thoughtful picture book provides a rare and necessary perspective, free of tropes and clichés: that of the contemporary bicultural child whose heart is in two places, India and California. The focus on Asha's feelings gives this book powerful bibliotherapeutic value, and the ending brings a gentle and satisfying resolution. Can be paired with Monica Brown's Maya's Blanket (2015) for thematic and visual content.
Kirkus Reviews
A young girl goes back to India to visit her grandmother's house after her death.Debut author Sriram shares a poignant story based on her daughter's personal experience. Young Asha travels with her family from the United States to her grandma's house in India, towing her favorite yellow suitcase. Everything looks familiar in India, except her grandma is not there. But the house is full of other people, both relatives and people she doesn't recognize, and they're all talking about Grandma. Asha reminisces how she always carried gifts for her grandma in her yellow suitcase and how her grandma always showered her with gifts to carry back to America. When she asks her father if she'll ever see her grandma again, he cries. Asha doesn't quite know how to deal with her grandmother's death and responds with aloof moodiness. Two weeks go by, and just as she is about to leave India, she realizes her grandmother left behind a special surprise for her. This immigrant narrative beautifully captures the emotions of loss, love, and belonging that the little girl experiences, embedding readers in Asha's developmentally spot-on perspective. The illustrations, done in a pastel palette and flat perspective, reveal authentic snapshots of India, though the characters feel stiff at times, which may limit their appeal.A thoughtful story that artfully addresses the loss of a grandparent from an immigrant perspective. (Picture book. 5-8)
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ALA Booklist (2/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: 1-4
Lexile: 650L

In The Yellow Suitcase by Meera Sriram, Asha travels with her parents from America to India to mourn her grandmother's passing. Asha's grief and anger are compounded by the empty yellow suitcase usually reserved for gifts to and from Grandma, but when she discovers a gift left behind just for her, Asha realizes that the memory of her grandmother will live on inside her, no matter where she lives.

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