Two Drops of Brown in a Cloud of White
Author: Saumiya Balasubramaniam
Illustrator: Eva Campbell
This book spoke so deeply to me. I am that mom.
On a snowy day a young girl and her mom trudge through the snow to get home after school. It’s clear that the little girl is not only more comfortable with snow than her mother, but that she actually delights in it. The mom, meanwhile, is reminiscing and missing her clearly tropical home country.
“Ma likes the sun. And she loves colors. I like her colors, especially when the diamond on her nose scatters the sun into violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red”/
But I really love the snow.”
This book spoke so deeply to me. I am that mom. I am the reluctant immigrant mom who hates the cold, while I have two kids whose faces LIGHT UP like Diwali Diyas (lamps) at the mere possibility of the slightest precipitation. I can imagine them countering my reminiscing about “home” the same way the little girl in the book does.
“I miss the green of palm trees back home,” says Ma.
“This is home” the girl mutters.
And just like the mom in the book I let little smiles escape my winter gloom, and I realize home is where the pieces of my heart reside. And right now that’s here.
“I see home. I see two drops of brown in a cloud of white.”
I’ve spoken before about how my kids’ eyes light up when they see brown, and especially Desi (South Asian) characters in books. This one was no different. They recognized themselves in the girl, me in the mom. They picked up on the nostalgia they hear from me. The illustrations in this book are fantastic. My kids lived the imagery of the mom’s nose ring scattering light and color everywhere. I’ll keep saying it. Representation matters. This is a book I’ll be getting for a few folks as their immigrant families grow with distinctly American children.
More books for this Age Group can be found here.
My thanks to Groundwood Books for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.
Please, leave comments! I love a HEALTHY exchange of ideas. After all, critical thinking is essential to life.