National Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Kid Lit Review of “Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji” by F. Zia

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.”

Picture 2

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!

Picture 3

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.”


Rating: 4.5/5

Published by Lee & Low Books, 2011

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15 Responses to National Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Kid Lit Review of “Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji” by F. Zia

  1. Beth F says:

    The illustrations look wonderful and the story sounds like a lot of fun. I like too that there is a glossary.

  2. JoV says:

    I love roti, a lot! The illustration is beautiful too. 🙂

  3. Mmmm, yum! Rotis are our favorite Indian food. This book sounds delightful. It made me hungry just reading your review!

    • Farhana Zia says:

      Dear Laura,
      Hot, hot roti hits the spot when one is hungry, right?
      I do hope you’ll read the book and pass the word around about it.
      Best wishes,
      Farhana Zia

  4. sandynawrot says:

    I had no grandparents that could sit in a Lotus position or stand on their head! But superhuman powers? My grandmother baked pies that we would have sworn gave us special powers. What a fun book!

  5. stacybuckeye says:

    Gage loves my dad (especially my mom but grandmothers are different) and while my dad’s no spring chicken he did just buy a BMV convertible that he let Gage drive 😉

  6. Charlie says:

    This sounds fun. If I were younger I’d be sold just by the roti (love it), that said it would be the sort of book that would catch my eye for my nephew.

  7. Super cute story and drawings!

  8. bookingmama says:

    I agree — this book sounds adorable and it’s making me hungry!

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