Aneel’s grandparents have come from India to stay with them in America. Dada-ji, as you learn in the Hindi glossary at the end of this book, means paternal grandfather. Aneel loves learning from Dada-ji how to stand on one’s head and sit like a lotus plant. He also loves hearing about his grandparents’ village while he sits “on his grandfather’s lotus lap.”
Dada-ji has great stories. He avers that eating “hot, hot roti” gives him superhuman strength. (Roti means “bread” in Hindi, and is basically a round, flat, unleavened bread cooked on a griddle.) Like Popeye and spinach, when Dada-ji eats roti, he claims he can wrestle water buffalos and tie cobras in a knot!
Aneel decides he needs to make some roti and everyone helps. Dada-ji eats one after another, all the while saying how good it is and how powerful he feels. Together, he and Aneel go outside and have some adventures. Dada-ji says to Aneel:
“The power of the hot, hot roti came back to the lad from a village far, far away. Thank you, my tiger. Thank you!”
Evaluation: I love Dada-ji! Everyone needs a fun, supportive grandpa like him! It’s a great story, and the illustrations by Ken Min are very entertaining. As a bonus, there is a glossary of relevant Hindi terms in the back, and on their website, Lee & Low provides a recipe for “hot hot roti.”
Published by Lee & Low Books, 2011