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This is a beautiful book, with wondrous illustrations, about the magic of henna, the magical meanings of the stories, and about the magic created by sharing stories with our children. The illustrations are absolutely darling, with an India-influenced aesthetic by way of Mary Blair, that is wonderfully appealing.

The story is both a primer on how children need to be careful with the henna until it dries (with some tips included on how to make that happen with young children). This is a heartwarming book that is a must for anyone who will be sharing henna with children or who simply enjoys sharing cultural touchstones with children.

If you were one of those children who couldn’t find a bicycle “license plate” with your name on it, this book is for you. In this India-influenced story, a little girl named Anjali — a Sanskrit word meaning “divine offering” — overcomes the jeers of insensitive friends by making a license tag of her own. It’s a beautiful book, and I love how it ties her parent’s love into the story of her lovely name.

We should all take a moment to tell our children what noble and beautiful things led to their given names. (If you named your child for your pickup truck or a soap opera character, forget what I just said.)

This pretty children’s book shows a little mixed-race girl who is trying to celebrate and learn about hope by planting seeds which, while not expressly stated, appears to be a parental lesson for her about pregnancy.

That doesn’t become clear until after her hopes are dashed when her little flowers are nibbled by… a litter of cute baby bunnies! After some replanting of her garden, there are flowers surrounding their home — and the love for a new baby filling the home, and their hearts, within. The lovely illustrations and rhyming text help tell a story that will help inspire soon-to-be big sisters and brothers, while explaining to them the value of resilience, hopefulness, and love — quite an accomplishment for one book!