In the timely yet timeless picture book Home Is in Between, critically acclaimed author Mitali Perkins and illustrator Lavanya Naidu describe the experience of navigating multiple cultures and embracing the complex but beautiful home in between.
Shanti misses the warm monsoon rains in India. Now in America, she watches fall leaves fly past her feet.
Still, her family’s apartment feels like a village: Mama cooking luchi, funny stories in Bangla, and Baba’s big laugh. But outside, everything is different – trick-or-treating, ballet class, and English books.
Back and forth, Shanti trudges between her two worlds. She remembers her village and learns her new town. She watches Bollywood movies at home and Hollywood movies with her friends. She is Indian. She is also American. How should she define home?
About the Author
Mitali Perkins has written several books for young readers, including Home Is in Between, Between Us and Abuela, Forward Me Back to You, You Bring the Distant Near (a National Book Award Nominee, a Walter Honor Book, a South Asia Book Award Winner, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and a Shelf Awareness 2017 Best Book of the Year), Rickshaw Girl (a NYPL Top 100 Book), and Bamboo People (an ALA Top 10 YA novel). Mitali was born in India and currently resides in Northern California.
Lavanya Naidu is an animator and illustrator from Kolkata. A graduate of the National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad), she has worked with Google, Amazon, Cartoon Network, Godrej and several Indian publishing houses. Her illustration credits include Razia Learns to Swim (Divya Panicker) and Kittu’s Very Mad Day (Harshikaa Udasi).
A Junior Library Guild Selection!
A 2022 Notable Book in the Language Arts!
"Perkins explores a child’s experience of immigration in a sweet and child-friendly story presented in a beautifully illustrated package . . . This book can serve as either a validating mirror or an illuminating window. A warm read-aloud, it is a must-purchase for all picture book collections." —School Library Journal, starred review
"Animation-style characters by Naidu (Susie Will Not Speak) reflect emotion clearly, while straightforward writing by Perkins (Between Us and Abuela) shows how Shanti learns to appreciate aspects of her new life while keeping people and elements from her old one close to her heart." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Reflecting the experiences of Perkins and many other immigrant children, this heartfelt picture book records the push/pull of remembering the old ways while learning the new ones . . . By shining a light on one girl’s story, this vibrant picture book illuminates the experience of many immigrant children." —Booklist, starred review
"National Book Award finalist Perkins’ picture book depicts a tale of immigration and adaptation . . . Kolkata-born, Australia-based Naidu’s illustrations are light and full of motion, reinforcing both the book’s tone and its content. Shanti’s expressions, including wonder, frustration, and exhaustion, are particularly emotive.The book will appeal particularly to children and families navigating this space between cultures." —Kirkus Reviews
"The book compactly conveys the pressure of juggling and code-switching even if there’s joy to be had in both cultures. There’s a bit of a Dora the Explorer vibe to the cartoonish digital illustrations, which will appeal to viewers, and there are plenty of observant and humorous details; audiences will want to look out for Shanti’s beloved toy blue elephant, who appears alongside her in most scenes." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB)