An intimate, lyrical story about an ancient artistic tradition.


Picture Book, release date: April 18, 2023
Written by Meera Sriram
Ilustrated by Sandhya Prabhat
 Knopf, Penguin Random House
ISBN-10: 0593427106 ISBN-13: 978-0593427101

This touching picture book celebrates the custom of applying henna for special occasions through a mother and daughter who share family memories and stories.

The sweet smell of henna, and stories we carry, fill us with pride of a faraway home.

There’s a wedding tomorrow! And one little girl sits patiently while her mother tenderly applies intricate, delicate henna designs on her hands. As she does, she shares family stories—about weddings, monsoons, and ancestors long gone. The little girl must be careful to protect her hands as the henna dries—one smudge could ruin a story! After a whole night of anticipation, when the flakes are washed away, what will they reveal?

Lyrical text pairs with vibrant illustrations for this poignant picture book that blooms with heart, connects us to our roots, and sweetly reminds us of the garden of love we curate with those closest to us.

The text reads like free-verse poetry, skillfully weaving simple, child-friendly language into vivid, multisensory imagery; the child calls the henna “A garden in my hands, / I will tend for days.” Dominated by intricate patterns and hues of purple and green, the digital art positively sings.

starred review, Kirkus Reviews. Read full review here.