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The Boy & the Bindi

Last updated Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Author: Vivek Shraya
Illustrator: Rajni Perera
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 1551526689
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jun. 2019

Synopsis: In this beautiful childrens picture book by Vivek Shraya, author of the acclaimed God Loves Hair, a five-year-old South Asian boy becomes fascinated with his mothers bindi, the red dot commonly worn by Hindu women to indicate the point at which creation begins, and wishes to have one of his own. Rather than chastise her son, she agrees to it, and teaches him about its cultural significance, allowing the boy to discover the magic of the bindi, which in turn gives him permission to be more fully himself. Beautifully illustrated by Rajni Perera, The Boy & the Bindi is a joyful celebration of gender and cultural difference.

Note to readers:
•  Remind students of sensitivity.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you see on the cover?
•  Do you know what a "bindi" is? (it is a colored dot/jewel worn on the center of the forehead)
•  Do you have any "good luck" charms or items that protect you? (ex: rabbit's foot, cross, St. Christopher's medal, jade, 4 leaf clover...)


•  spare - extra
•  hue - shade, a particular color
•  blot - a dark mark or stain

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Have you seen anyone with a "bindi" or other mark on their forehead? (ex: Catholics wear ash on their forehead for the first Wednesday of Lent)
•  Would you wear or carry something that protects you, makes you feel happy or gives you luck?
•  What color would your "bindi" be? What shape would you want your "bindi" to be?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw yourself with your bindi in a magical setting
•  Make a flower crown like the boy.
•  Make a Father's Day card. (for father, uncle, grandfather, someone who is like a father to you.)
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!