Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji

By School Library Journal

This debut for both author and illustrator is a winning story of family traditions as well as a rollicking tall tale…. Zia has an ear for the storyteller’s cadence. She creates lyrical lines for the framing narrative and then alters her voice, animating the interior story with exaggeration and exclamations. Min’s style is dynamic; he borrows a variety of techniques from graphic novels to delineate time and place and to focus attention. From inset boxes and monochromatic background figures to silhouettes and sequential panels, the effect is exciting and fresh. As Aneel stands on his head in imitation of his grandfather, the room tilts and smoke from the burning incense spreads across the page, carrying light green colored-pencil sketches of the ‘wheat fields and swaying coconut palms’ of the elders’ village. This contrasts with the bold colors of the boy’s modern living room, rendered in acrylics. Inspired by the story, Aneel starts mixing ingredients. Boy and man chomp and chew. Do the roti still do the trick? Hunh-ji! Yes, Sir!