The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh

Written by: Supriya Kelkar

Illustrated by: Alea Marley

For ages: 3-7 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Social-Emotional Learning, POC-Centric Narratives, Sikhism, Global Community.


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Harpreet Singh is a young boy who wears a different color patka (turban) for his moods.  When Harpreet moves to a new place with his family, he wears a white turban for a long time because he is sad.  Will Harpreet ever feel at home in his new school and make a friend? Harpreet is a sweet character very in touch with his emotions, which is fantastic for introducing emotions and decoding the feelings of others for young children.  The illustrations are adorable, and we love the expressions that illustrator Alea  Marley is able to convey.

This book is very sweet for several reasons.  We love seeing a Sikh character normalized, and especially a boy who enjoys wearing pink during everyday life when he feels celebratory.  It’s lovely to see a boy in touch with his feelings and define his style melding fashion and culture.  The added social-emotional growth throughout the story is the cherry on top!  In the back is a note from Simran Jeet Singh, a scholar and professor of Sikhism which gives the reader a bit more background information if they’re unfamiliar with the Sikh lifestyle and religion.

We received this book from The Little Feminist Book Club, but all opinions about both the book and the club are our own.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

img_20190606_210731_673Supriya Kelkar grew up in the Midwest, where she learned Hindi as a child by watching three Hindi movies a week. Winner of the New Visions Award for her middle grade novel AHIMSA, (Tu Books, 2017), Supriya is a screenwriter who has worked on the writing teams for several Hindi films, including Lage Raho Munnabhai and Eklavya: The Royal Guard, India’s entry into the 2007 Academy Awards. She was an associate producer on the Hollywood feature, Broken Horses. Supriya’s books include AHIMSA, THE MANY COLORS OF HARPREET SINGH (Sterling, 2019), AMERICAN AS PANEER PIE (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster, 2020) STRONG AS FIRE, FIERCE AS FLAME (Tu Books, 2020), and THAT THING ABOUT BOLLYWOOD (Aladdin/Simon and Schuster, 2021). Supriya is represented by Kathleen Rushall at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and Kim Yau at Paradigm for film/TV rights.

thumbnail_4_528Alea Marley is a children’s illustrator living and working in England.

She loves creating whimsical scenes that are filled with patterns, texture, and bursts of colour! Her favourite mediums to work with are chunky pencils, watercolour crayons, and digital brushes.

Picture Books
Everybody’s Somewhere by Cornelia Spelman, Seagrass Press – October 2017
Loretta’s Gift by Pat Zietlow Miller, Simon & Schuster – August 2018
The Many Colours Of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar, Sterling – September 2019
A Day So Gray by Marie Lamba, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – October 2019


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