Thursday, November 9, 2017

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Summary from Goodreads:
Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri's mom avoids these questions--the topic of India is permanently closed.

For Pri, her mother's homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she's ever dared and find the family she never knew.

In this heartwarming graphic novel debut, Nidhi Chanani weaves a tale about the hardship and self-discovery that is born from juggling two cultures and two worlds.
I ended up enjoying this even more than I was anticipating. I read it in one sitting (maybe a couple of hours). I absolutely adored the art in here. It reminded me a bit of Raina Telgemeier mixed with Jennifer L Holm. The art is bold and colorful, but also a little cute –with nods to some graphic novels/manga that has come before. I loved seeing the Sailor Moon poster in Pri’s room.
I’m loving these middlge grade/YA graphic novels about girls with different backgrounds and stories. This was a different perspective than I’m used to reading from and I loved all the things that made this different. There’s this sort of magical pashmina that shows Pri a beautiful, enticing side to India. It was fun learning about Shakti and the elements to this part of the culture.
I also loved getting to see the real India (away from the magical pashmina), and all the good that Pri’s family was doing there. And while there are fun and different traits to this fantastical story that I haven’t seen before, there is also the familiar: a girl wanting to know where she came from. Why hasn’t Pri’s mother talked to her about her past at all?
This was a fun coming of age story. I loved learning about India. I also loved Pri, and getting to learn with her, the stories of her family. This was a great graphic novel. I hope to see more from this author/artist in the future. I give it a 9/10.

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