As a Global co-Host for Greece for the 3rd year, for #MCBD, https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/about/co-hosts/
I am excited to present my reviews on truly exceptional Multicultural books, written from a unique perspective. “10 Gulab Jamuns” is an enjoyable children’s book written by Sandhya Acharya and illustrated by Vanessa Alexandra.
The world ‘Gulab’ was derived from the Persian word ‘gol’ and ‘ab’ which respectively meant flower and water which referred to rose water scented syrup. The other word ‘Jamun’ is the Hindi-Urdu word for the popular Indian fruit Black Plum which is almost of same shape and size. So, this is how your loving dessert got its name. Gulab Jamun came to India from Persia or modern day Iran with our Muslim sultans and badshahs. The Indian gulab jamun dish originated from an Arabic dessert called Luqmat Al-Qadi and became popular during the Mughal era. The later name, gulab, actually comes from the two Persian words gul (flower) and ab (water). Gulab Jamun, as the history goes was first prepared in medieval India derived from Persian invaders. A great concept introducing to a traditional Asian sweet with two adorable kids that get to know the traditional mouthwatering sweet, while utilizing Math conceptions, Counting and Subtraction.
After mum prepares the 10 Gulab Jamuns for the guests, her boys Idu (Ee-doo) and Adu (Aa-doo) can’t resist eating secretly the sweets, while becoming acquainted with numbers. A funny story helping kids to use numbers and be involved in the sweet making, as it follows in the story after they eat most of the sweets! With delightful illustrations the little readers will surely enjoy the making of Gulab Jamuns with their mum. Once the guests arrive, the family members enjoy the fantastic gathering enjoying the sweets with the sugar syrup.
The book provides also the recipe by the famous pastry maker Hetal Vasavada. Don’t miss the chance to check her phenomenal blog and her books! https://milkandcardamom.com/about/
Once I read the book, I couldn’t resist rereading it many times! One reason was for sure the Gulab Jamuns, they reminded me of the Greek traditional mouth watering sweet “Loukoumades” here you can check the recipe for all moms to try it with your kids. Trust me you will be over the moon! https://www.mygreekdish.com/recipe/loukoumades/
The second reason was the two boys and how the writer used their temptation for sweets to teach readers Maths! What a clever way to incorporate a subject and tradition in one book.
I plan to use your book Sandhya, my friend, in class so as to teach verbs we use when teaching Maths! Check the following links to have verbs and worksheets to facilitate your student’s learning! https://www.newsummerfieldisd.org/cms/lib5/TX01917270/Centricity/Domain/35/Math%20-%20verbs.pdf
The following description of how Gulab Jamuns is made, is the best way to bring the aromas and spices in your mind! https://www.thebetterindia.com/159662/gulab-jamun-india-food-history-news/
Made with chenna (or khoya) and kneaded with maida, balls of dough are fried till they turn that elusive rosy shade between gold and brown. After the heated oil works its magic, the crystallised sugar in the batter creates a slightly grainy crust while the jamun‘s white heart remains silky smooth.
Infused with rose-scented (or cardamom-flavoured) chashni, the ball yields to the slightest pressure, literally melting away as one bites into it. As such, the fluffy pillows of warm, syrup-laden dough are as deeply comforting as they are delicious.
Sandhya Acharya grew up in Mumbai, India, and now lives in Santa Clara, California. She has always loved eating Gulab Jamuns, though she must confess she may not be great at cooking them. She does love cooking stories though. When she is not writing, she is busy training for marathons, learning a form of Indian classical dance, and enjoying the childhood of her young sons. She won third prize in the 2017 Katha Fiction Contest, which was co-hosted by India Currents and the Wellstone Center, and she blogs regularly at http://www.sandhyaacharya.com.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 (1/29/21) is in its 8th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators. Eight years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. Read about our Mission & History HERE.
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