Bracelets for Bina's Brothers
Rajani LaRocca, author
Rajani LaRocca is a book lover, doctor, and foodie who was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area. She is the author of the middle-grade novel Midsummer's Mayhem. This is her first picture book.
Read more about Rajani.
Chaaya Prabhat, illustrator
Chaaya Prabhat is a graphic designer, illustrator and lettering artist. She holds a master's in graphic design from Savannah College of Art and Design. Chaaya lives and works in Chennai, India.
Read more about Chaaya.
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It’s the Hindu holiday Raksha Bandhan, when sisters give brothers bracelets to ask for their protection from harm.
This year, Bina is old enough to make bracelets for her three older brothers: Vijay, Siddharth, and Arjun. To prepare, she asks each brother about their favorite and least favorite colors. At the craft store, Bina and her mother pick out blue, orange, and green beads along with some special beads that represent each of the brother’s interests: a book, a basketball, and a pair of musical notes. When they return from the store, and with the help of her dog, Tara, Bina gets to work. For each bracelet, she creates a pattern using the colors that each brother likes—something that can be confusing to remember and results in a few do-overs. Eventually, Bina creates three different bracelets using three different color patterns, each one perfect for her brothers. On Raksha Bandhan, Bina’s gifts are a hit—and so is the gift that the brothers give Bina, even if it doesn’t necessarily follow a pattern. Basing a plot on Raksha Bandhan, which has come under criticism for its gendered emphasis on girls’ needing protection from boys, feels like a strange way to introduce a spunky female protagonist like Bina. Still, the text does seamlessly integrate the mathematical concept of patterning into a fun and accurate modern twist on an ancient religious tradition. The colorful illustrations perfectly capture Bina’s impish spirit as well as her love for her family. An author’s note expands on both Raksha Bandhan and patterns.
This culturally relevant, STEM-savvy picture book showcases a strong female protagonist.
ISBN: 978-1-63289-909-5 EPUB
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Page count: 32
91/2 x 91/2