"Where is my Grandma?" is a story about Neha, a 5 year-old second generation Indian-American girl, who is trying to understand why her Grandmother lives so far away. In her attempt to understand the distance that separates her from her extended family, she explores her own complex identity: She expresses her love for America at the same time that she tells the reader how much she yearns to see her Grandmother, to take her to the park, to bake cookies with her. Neha's parents are amused by her creative plans to reunite with her Grandmother, and they try to satisfy her questions about why she is so far from the family that she so misses.
“Rachel and Sunny are my best friends. Today, they have come to the park with their grandmas.
Why can't my grandma come to the park with me?
Why can’t she push my swing and build castles with me?”
Neha’s character is a part of many American households. It is the story of a perceptive and sensitive young child caught between two cultures, and of parents trying to help her craft an identity that is whole and complete. This book touches on issues not typically addressed in picture books, and fills an important void in children’s literature for this group of children who are particularly vulnerable to feeling marginalized and different.
About the Author
During the day, Niyati is a Clinical Researcher, Biologist, packer-of-lunchboxes, PTA participant and a boo-boo healer. At night she moonlights as a story-teller, spinning tales to answer the darnedest questions posed by her twin daughters.
Her stories are mostly inspired by her own experiences of being an immigrant student and then a first generation Indian-American mother. Her stories focus on questions, concerns and feelings children have as they are being raised by parents who grew up in a different culture than theirs, which encourages them to create their own unique identity that is whole and complete.
She founded KidzBelong to meet a pressing need to have picture books address needs of children of immigrant families who are particularly vulnerable to feeling marginalized and different.
Her books 'Where is my Grandma' won first place and 'There is Roti in my LunchBox' won honourable mention in the 2016 Purple Dragonfly award for cultural Diversity. The Purple Dragonfly awards recognize excellence in children's literature. See more about her team at www.kidzbelong.com
Niyati lives with her husband and twin daughters in Denver.