Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 3 to 7
- Grade: 2 to 12
A sensory celebration of family, food, and culture
When their train makes a 10-minute stop at the station in Jaipur, a young girl and her mother hurry to get in line for a cup of chai. While the girl waits for her mug of milky spiced tea, readers are treated to the sights, sounds, and smells of the Chaiwala’s cart. The aroma of ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon sticks swirls in the air. Tea leaves rustle, milk bubbles, and the hot drink is poured back and forth until—clink!—the cups are filled and placed on the stand. With a biscuit and a rusk added to their order, it’s time to find a spot to sit and enjoy!
Inspired by the author’s childhood visits to India, Chaiwala! celebrates the pleasures of taking time for food, family, and tradition—even for a brief moment. Illustrated in lively cut-paper collages and filled with scrumptious sensory details, this book is just like a cup of chai—warm, comforting, and good to the last drop.
About the authors
PRITI BIRLA MAHESHWARI was born in New Delhi, India. She moved to Canada when she was six years old and has also lived in the United States. A teacher for more than 20 years, Priti lives with her husband and daughter in Cambridge, Ontario. Priti savors the tender moments and conversation that happen when people connect over a cup of chai. Chaiwala! is her first picture book.
Ashley Barron moved to Toronto upon graduating from OCAD’s illustration program in 2007. She lives and works as an illustrator from her studio near Kensington market. She uses paper collage to illustrate just about everything for magazines, advertising, and animation. Over the past two years, Ashley illustrated the four Math in Nature books for Owlkids. She is an avid gardener and lover of flora and fauna, the details of which can be found in her art.
"Particularly fun to read out loud ... Sweetly captures a slice of Indian life."