Festival of Colors

Illustrated by Vashti Harrison
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About The Book

Learn all about Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, in this lush picture book from bestselling mother/son duo Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal.

Spring is here, and it’s almost time for Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors. Siblings Mintoo and Chintoo are busy gathering flowers to make into colorful powders to toss during the festival. And when at last the big day comes, they gather with their friends, family, and neighbors for a vibrant celebration of fresh starts, friendship, forgiveness, and, of course, fun!

About The Author

Photograph by Dave Shaugar

Surishtha Sehgal was a university professor for many years and now enjoys reading to children during story time. She is the founder of a nonprofit organization that promotes social responsibility among students, and she serves on the boards of two universities and a national arts center. She lives in Atlanta.

Photograph by Lisa Miller

Kabir Sehgal started his class newspaper in second grade and has been writing ever since. A bestselling author of several books, he is also a jazz bassist and Grammy Award–winning producer. He lives in New York City. 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books (January 2018)
  • Length: 32 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781481420495
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Ages: 2 - 8

Raves and Reviews

The Sehgals' newest picture book introduces young readers to Holi, a Hindu spring festival, through color, repetition, and onomatopoeia....Harrison's textured and cinematic illustrations are vivacious and dynamic, with renderings of humans that reflect her background in animation. Refreshingly, she represents children and adults with a wide variety of skin tones; India's many browns are also on display here.

– Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2017

It is spring and Chintoo and Mintoo are excited; it is time to prepare for Holi, the Indian festival of colors. Together, the brother and sister roam their verdant garden, collecting the flowers they will turn into brightly colored powders. “They gather hibiscus flowers, because hibiscus flowers make red.” Orchids, marigolds, and irises come next. Chintoo and Mintoo dry the flowers before separating the petals and finally pressing them into powder. Once their petal powders are complete, it’s time to celebrate. All dressed in white, the siblings join their parents, friends, and neighbors outside where the powders will be tossed about. The Sehgals—a mother-and-son duo—use short, repetitive sentences and color-coded words, which nicely pair with Harrison’s genial scenes emphasizing the vibrant, sunny colors of the festival and
the delight of getting ready with family. This lively, informational read reinforces primary and secondary colors and showcases this jovial Hindu festival as a time to celebrate fresh starts, friendship, and forgiveness, and have lots of fun in the process. An authors’ note offers more context. — Anita Lock

– Booklist, Nov 1, 2017

Brother and sister Chintoo and Mintoo are getting ready for Holi, the Indian festival of colors. Their process is slowly revealed as the siblings gather petals, dry and separate them, and then crush the dried petals into powders. Lively digital illustrations show the children’s excited family members and neighbors carrying the powders through the streets, and then “POOF!” wet and dry powders fly through the air in a rambunctious celebration. Readers will learn from the book’s endnotes that Holi celebrates “inclusiveness, new beginnings, and the triumph of good over evil.” This is useful information, but the real beauty of this attractive book is that it shows the country’s home life and community togetherness beyond the holiday celebration. Children in primary grades will find this an accessible read, whereas younger patrons can enjoy it as a read-aloud and learn about colors and cultural festivals in an engaging way. VERDICT A must-buy for picture book sections that will delight children regardless of their familiariy with the holiday.

– School Library Journal, February 1, 2018

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