A Bollywood film brings people together—and inspires a little girl’s budding ambition—in a heartfelt and joyful picture book debut from a new talent.
It’s Friday night, and on the bustling streets of Mumbai, a girl heads out with her family to the cinema. As she rides through the winding blocks with her maa, baba, and bhai, old melodies fill the car. And as she captures the sights and sounds of the city with her camera, she imagines a movie unfolding before her eyes. A choreographed dance sequence atop a long line of cars! When they arrive at the screening, the room is abuzz with people from all walks of life, waiting to lose themselves in the show. And finally comes the best part: time for everyone to jump up and dance! First-time author-illustrator Avani Dwivedi offers a buoyant, whimsically illustrated love letter to Mumbai and Bollywood—and to children everywhere eager to take mastery of their dreams.
Avani Dwivedi is an illustrator and author of picture books. She grew up in Mumbai, India, and later moved to the US to pursue her passion of becoming an artist. A graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art with a BFA in illustration, she says that even when away from home, she holds on to her “most precious gems”—memories of her childhood, the lived experience of being a South-Asian woman, and her love for creating whimsical art. Avani Dwivedi lives in New York City.
The nod toward masala film—Bollywood movies that blend genres—is absolutely delightful, as is the young protagonist, whose aspirations will surely inspire many kids to pursue their own goals. Indeed, a flash-forward, showing her as an adult confidently directing her own film, is a charming touch. An uplifting love letter to Bollywood that will encourage readers to dream big.