I am pleased to share this post about Diwali from guest blogger author, Shachi Kaushik.
As we approach the enchanting Festival of Lights, Diwali, we embark on a celebration that transcends cultural boundaries. Diwali, or Deepavali, signifies the victory of light over darkness and hope over despair. This vibrant festival, observed by millions around the world, is a time of dazzling decorations, the glow of diyas, and the sparkle of fireworks.
In this blog, we invite you to explore the essence of Diwali through the lens of several picture book authors. Their stories capture the significance of this holiday, offering a glimpse into the cultural richness and shared joy that Diwali brings to homes and hearts worldwide.
Special Message from South Asian Author’s from around the globe for Diwali.
1. Author Mitali Banerjee Ruths , Canada
Book: Archie Celebrates Diwali
Archana loves her family's annual Diwali (deh-vah-lee) party, and this year she gets to share it with all her friends from school. She helps with the decorations and the food, and is eager for everyone to arrive. But once the party starts, a thunderstorm kicks up and drenches the outside decorations and knocks out the power. Archie worries that everything will be ruined. How can there be a festival of lights without any electricity?
Message from Mitali
“Diwali has been celebrated for thousands of years, first in India, and now all around the world, following the diaspora. There are many stories about the origins of Diwali, like ancient warriors defeating powerful demons, but at their heart, all the stories are about how good triumphs over evil.
There's a line in Archie Celebrates Diwali that resonates with a lot of readers, and it's one of my favorites in the book. Archie tells her friends, "We celebrate Diwali to remember that evil and darkness can't win against all our lights shining together."
Especially this year, during this time, when the world can feel full of darkness, that's an important reminder - to remember the power of our own lights shining together. So, as we light up those diyas, let's remember the power of our light and not lose hope against the darkness we see in the world right now. 🪔🌟”
2. Author Rina Singh, Canada
Book: Diwali Lights
A board book that introduces young readers to the joy of lighting clay lamps, sharing sweets, and the enchanting tradition of watching fireworks. This delightful book weaves cultural richness into an educational and visually stunning experience.
Message from Rina
“This year, as we gather to celebrate the festival of lights, we cannot overlook the shadows that loom over our world. Wars persist, and the echoes of conflict continue to resonate across borders and hearts. In the face of such challenges, it becomes even more crucial for us to channel the true essence of Diwali – the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, love over hatred, and above all peace over war.
Let us use this Diwali as an opportunity to kindle the flame of hope within ourselves and in the hearts of those around us. May the diyas we light dispel not only the physical darkness but also the darkness that clouds minds and divides nations. Let the warmth of our celebrations extend beyond our homes and reach out to those in need, for it is in the spirit of giving that we truly embody the teachings of Diwali.
Let us unite in a collective prayer for peace.
Wishing you all a Diwali filled with joy, peace, and pray with me that light transcends all borders.”
3. Author Chitra Soundar, UK
Book: Shub Diwali Illustrated by Charlene Chua
Shubh Diwali" unfolds with lyrical grace, vividly portraying celebration of Diwali. From the vibrant Rangoli art on the floors to the fragrant strings of flowers adorning doorways, the narrative paints a rich picture. Inviting readers to join in the celebration, the story beautifully captures the cultural richness of Diwali.
Message from Chitra
“May the lamps of Deepavali light your path to kindness! Share stories and sweets to sweeten the times!”
4. Author Navina Chhabria, USA
Raaga dreamt of singing at the Diwali Mela, but her attempts were marred by freezing anxiety and teasing for being too dark and young. With her grandfather's unwavering support, she practiced until her music resonated powerfully. On the Mela day, her performance stunned the audience, mirroring the power of Lord Rama's arrow. Like the lit path for Rama, her family and friends lit her victorious path home.
Message from Navina
“Raaga's Song, A Diwali Story, is my debut picture book. Through this tale, I wanted to show children that they have the power within to conquer their demons and achieve their wildest dreams. It doesn't matter where they come from and what they look like, just like Lord Rama had the courage to face the mighty Ravana, they can emerge victorious.”
5. Author Namita Mehra, Singapore
Book: The Light Within You, illustrated by Kamala Nair
Diya is excited to be making a visit back to India to celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, with her grandma.
Together they go shopping at the bazaar and prepare for the festival. As Diya and Nani celebrate Diwali together, Diya’s heart soars. But as her trip comes to an end, she becomes sad, but Nani’s words her Nani reminds her that Diwali can be celebrated all year long with Diya’s own special light inside of her. Nani also sends a special gift with Diya back to America. When Diya returns home, she has the perfect idea for sharing her light with others.
Message from Namita
“In these turbulent times, I hope you will find some glimmers of light and hope and love this Diwali - the festival of Lights. And remember, Diwali is not just a festival but it’s also the light that lives in each and every one of us. If we shine our inner light bright, we can bring more goodness and kindness into this world. Happy Diwali!”
6. Author Shachi Kaushik, Canada
Book: Diwali In My New Home
Priya loves being with family and friends to watch fireworks and celebrate Diwali. But this year Priya and her parents are living in the United States, and no one seems to know about the holiday. Priya misses the traditions in India. But as she strings lights outside and creates rangoli art, Priya introduces the festival of lights to her neighbors. And even though the celebration is different this year, it's still Diwali. A heartwarming story of celebrating in a new place.
Message from Shachi
“This Diwali, as we embrace the festival of lights, let's find joy in reading and savoring moments with loved ones. May the light, knowledge, and love radiate not only in our homes but also inspire unity, understanding, and peace worldwide. Let the flickering diyas inspire kindness and hope. Happy Diwali !”
Wishing you a very happy Diwali and happy reading.