Sejal, her mother, and her grandmother are planning a trip to Kanyakumari, a city at the southernmost edge of India, where “three oceans meet.”
Sejal and Mommy live in the United States and Pati in Bangalore, so while Sejal has a lot in common with her grandmother, they are also very different. When they are packing for their trip, for example, Sejal packs shorts and T-shirts while her grandmother packs 9-yard saris typical of southern Brahmin households. Sejal speaks mostly English while her grandmother speaks a mix of English, Tamil, and Kannada. On their way to Kanyakumari, Sejal and her family get to experience iconic cities in Tamil Nadu. In the coastal city of Chennai, they eat dosa. In Coimbatore, they visit relatives over tea. In Madurai, they visit one of southern India’s most famous Hindu temples. In between these cities, they stop to sip tender coconut, shop at a typical market, and gaze at the countryside from the windows of a train. These sights are all realized in Sreenivasan’s sunny, affectionate illustrations, and they appear again on a closing map that traces the journey. Finally, they reach Kanyakumari, where they witness three oceans coming together just like three generations of their family. The book’s text is a celebration of intergenerational, border-crossing love, and the analogy between the three oceans and the three female protagonists works well.
A sweet picture book about forming family ties across oceans.(author’s note, illustrator’s note) (Picture book. 3-6)