Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji

Written by: F. Zia

Illustrated by: Ken Min

For ages: 4-8 years

Language: English, Hindi.

Topics Covered: Family, POC-Centric Narratives, Indian Culture & Traditions.

Summary: Aneel’s grandparents have come all the way from India for a visit!  They do lots of fun things like burn incense and practice standing on their heads for yoga.  Dada-ji, his grandfather, tells the best stories of when he was young.  Dada-ji tells Aneel he gets superpowers from roti and Aneel must learn to make them to find out if Dada-ji still has superpowers!  Aneel can’t find anyone to help him make hot, hot roti so he decides to try himself.  It turns out Aneel’s superpower is making perfect roti, and Dada-ji feels strong enough to go on an adventure like when he was young.  Since there are no water buffalos to wrestle, or cobras to tie in knots, Dada-ji and Aneel must make due with swinging on swings and gathering apples for a pie.  The book ends with the pair stargazing in lotus position, looking at the stars.

Reflection Questions:

  • Aneel loves the things his grandparents do when they visit.  What do your grandparents or other family friends do that you love?
  • Do you think that Dada-ji had real superpowers?
  • Have you ever eaten roti before?
  • What is something that your family loves to cook together?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Learn about your own families cultural traditions.  What do they cook and eat?  Is there something that your could learn how to cook and share?
  • Have a potluck with your classroom or community.  Make something that is very special to your family, and share it with everyone!
  • Make up your own superhero, and draw a comic about them.  What gives them superpowers?  Is it eating something, petting a cat, or something else?  Your creativity is the limit!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

farhana zia


Farhana Zia is an elementary school teacher who grew up in Hyderabad, India. Her stories blend humor and tradition, memories and contemporary moments. Her first picture book, Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-Ji, received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. She lives in Massachusetts.




ken minKen Min grew up on the works of Margret & H.A. Rey, William Joyce, and DC Comics. He was born and raised in Los Angeles and studied illustration at Art Center, College of Design. He has storyboarded for various commercials and animated TV shows such as The PJs, Futurama and Fairly Odd Parents. His illustration work has been recognized numerous times by the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). In 2012, the first picture book he illustrated, Hot, Hot Roti For Dada-Ji, received the Picture Book Honor Award for Literature from the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). These days, you will find Ken illustrating, storyboarding, writing, and dreaming up stories for children.

One Comment on “Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji

  1. Pingback: Past Themes | The Tiny Activist

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