The Boy and the Bindi

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Brief Description:

A five-year-old South Asian boy becomes fascinated with his mother’s bindi, the red dot commonly worn by Hindu women to indicate the point at which creation begins, and wishes to have one of his own. Rather than chastise her son, she agrees to it, and teaches him about its cultural significance, allowing the boy to discover the magic of the bindi, which in turn gives him permission to be more fully himself.



Biographical Note:

Vivek Shraya: Vivek Shraya is a writer, musician, performer, and filmmaker. His previous books include the novel She of the Mountains and the YA book God Loves Hair, and he has been shortlisted for Lambda Literary Awards three times. He has read and performed at shows, festivals and post-secondary institutions internationally.
Rajni Perera: Rajni Perera is a Sri Lankan-born artist whose internationally showcased work floats between Western and immigrant culture.



Review Quotes:

“The easy rhyming and vivid colors make this an unforgettable look into Hindu culture.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Suitable as a gentle introduction to Hindu culture, this simple reflection will complement multicultural collections. The beautiful and detailed illustrations, such as those of Ammi’s traditional dress and jewelry, provide additional cultural context.” — Booklist

“Shraya’s story defines and affirms important values of Hindu culture — and nudges gender norms, as well.”– Publishers Weekly

“The story is simple but incredibly touching and the words are accompanied by the most vibrant illustrations, ones that truly suit the vibrancy of South Asian culture. This may also be a great book to reach for when introducing Hinduism to anyone who is curious or confused about it.” — Book Riot

“Shraya makes her picture book debut with gentle rhymes and warm whimsy, amplified by Perara’s richly hued illustrations.” — School Library Journal



Description for Sales People:

  • Vivek Shraya is a talented writer, musician, performer and filmmaker who has previously published an acclaimed novel (She of the Mountains) and a YA book (God Loves Hair) as well as a new poetry book this season. Here he authors what is Arsenal’s first children’s picture book.
  • The Boy & the Bindi, in its full-color images and gentle language, tells the story of a 5-year-old South Asian boy growing up in North America who is fascinated by his mother’s bindi, the red dot worn on the center of the forehead, commonly by Hindu women, and wishes to have one of his own. With his mother’s support, the boy discovers the magic of the bindi allows him to be more fully himself.
  • Illustrations are by Rajni Perera, a Sri Lankan-born artist.
  • We hope this book will be the first of many children’s picture books that celebrate cultural and gender difference.
  • Teacher’s guide available for free download on our website and vivekshraya.com (book will include this information).
  • Age range: PreK-first grade (3-6).


  • Publisher Marketing:

    In this beautiful children’s picture book by Vivek Shraya, author of the acclaimed God Loves Hair, a five-year-old South Asian boy becomes fascinated with his mother’s bindi, the red dot commonly worn by Hindu women to indicate the point at which creation begins, and wishes to have one of his own. Rather than chastise her son, she agrees to it, and teaches him about its cultural significance, allowing the boy to discover the magic of the bindi, which in turn gives him permission to be more fully himself.

    Beautifully illustrated by Rajni Perera, The Boy & the Bindi is a joyful celebration of gender and cultural difference.

    Vivek Shraya is a writer, musician, performer, and filmmaker. His body of work includes twelve albums, four short films, and four books which include God Loves HairShe of the Mountains, and even this page is white. He has read and performed at shows, festivals, and post-secondary institutions internationally. He lives in Toronto.

    Rajni Perera is a Sri Lankan-born artist whose internationally showcased work floats between Western and immigrant culture. She lives in Toronto.



    Review Citations:
    • Kirkus Reviews 01/01/0001 (EAN 9781551526683, Hardcover)
    • Kirkus Reviews 08/15/2016 (EAN 9781551526683, Hardcover)
    • Publishers Weekly 10/10/2016 (EAN 9781551526683, Hardcover)
    • School Library Journal 01/01/2017 (EAN 9781551526683, Hardcover)

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    Vendor Information

    • Store Name: Official Key Bookstore Shop
    • Vendor: Official Key Bookstore Shop
    • Address: 42 Warren St.
      HARTFORD, CT 06120
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