Laxmi's mooch

Shelly Anand

Book - 2021

After Laxmi's friend Zoe points out the hairs on her lip, Laxmi is very self-conscious until her East Indian parents help her to accept and celebrate her appearance.

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jE/Anand
1 / 2 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Anand Checked In
Children's Room jE/Anand Due Jul 3, 2022
Subjects
Genres
Social problem fiction
Picture books
Published
New York : Kokila 2021.
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 29 cm
Audience
Ages 4-8.
Grades K-1.
ISBN
9781984815651
1984815652
Main Author
Shelly Anand (author)
Other Authors
Nabi H. Ali (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Laxmi, an Indian American girl, kicks off this story of affirmation by introducing herself—"Hi!"—along with her mooch, the faint hair above her lip, which she invites readers to take a closer look at. Laxmi discovered her mooch at recess, when a blonde girl playfully suggested that Laxmi should be a cat because of her whiskers. This made her deeply self-conscious, noticing little hairs all over her body, and Ali captures the anxiety through the girl's expressive eyes and posture as she hides her mooch, while a crowd of imagined word bubbles of people whispering "meow" presses in around her. Back home—where both the text and art color scenes with Indian culture—she shares her distress, but her mom and dad, both rocking mooches, assure her that she descends from a long, proud line of women with moochay. "Everyone has a mooch, really." Next recess, Laxmi spots the faint hairs coloring her blonde friend's upper lip—to her delight. When another boy asks about his mooch, the girls can't find a hint of mustache, so he lines up, along with every other moochless child, to have Laxmi draw one on his face. Anand's story is simple and purposeful, but it's a much-needed purpose, sweetly delivering a message of body positivity around a common insecurity that is rarely addressed. Preschool-Grade 1. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Laxmi, an Indian American girl, kicks off this story of affirmation by introducing herself—"Hi!"—along with her mooch, the faint hair above her lip, which she invites readers to take a closer look at. Laxmi discovered her mooch at recess, when a blonde girl playfully suggested that Laxmi should be a cat because of her whiskers. This made her deeply self-conscious, noticing little hairs all over her body, and Ali captures the anxiety through the girl's expressive eyes and posture as she hides her mooch, while a crowd of imagined word bubbles of people whispering "meow" presses in around her. Back home—where both the text and art color scenes with Indian culture—she shares her distress, but her mom and dad, both rocking mooches, assure her that she descends from a long, proud line of women with moochay. "Everyone has a mooch, really." Next recess, Laxmi spots the faint hairs coloring her blonde friend's upper lip—to her delight. When another boy asks about his mooch, the girls can't find a hint of mustache, so he lines up, along with every other moochless child, to have Laxmi draw one on his face. Anand's story is simple and purposeful, but it's a much-needed purpose, sweetly delivering a message of body positivity around a common insecurity that is rarely addressed. Preschool-Grade 1. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Laxmi, a softly round Indian American girl with golden brown skin and two black braids, narrates this body hair–normalizing tale. When Laxmi's friends Zoe and Noah—a lanky blond and a plump yarmulke-wearing child—point out the "little hairs on your lip" during a game of animal make-believe, Laxmi hurries to the mirror. Suddenly self-conscious of her mooch—mustache in Hindi—Laxmi hides her upper lip, worries that kids are mocking her, and notices "hair all over my body": arms, eyebrows, knuckles, and legs. Arriving home, she's distraught—but her parents soon dispel her concerns with humor and heart. Debut author Anand's dialogue feels both genuine and gentle, incorporating Hindi with ease ("Nahi! You know, we come from a long line of women with moochay"). Warm, expressive digital illustrations by Ali (All the Way to the Top), meanwhile, feature a hijabi teacher and classmates with varying skin tones and hair textures. A joyfully affirmative picture book with a winning first-person point of view. Endpapers feature a Hindi-English picture glossary. Ages 4–8. Author's agent: Saba Sulaiman, Talcott Notch Literary. Illustrator's agent: James Burns, the Bright Agency. (Mar.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 1–3—Laxmi is a South Asian girl, sporting dark hair, tan skin, and tiny dark hairs above her upper lip. Her mooch, or mustache, becomes the topic of conversation one day at school, causing Laxmi to become extremely self-conscious about all of her body hair. At home, Laxmi asks her parents about her mooch; they, in return, quell Laxmi's insecurities by comparing her to other beautiful people and creatures who have hair elsewhere than their heads. The next day, Laxmi proudly displays her mooch, inviting her classmates to celebrate their own—real or not—along with her. Beautifully illustrated using a wide array of colors, Laxmi's world is filled with people of many skin shades, body types, and cultural backgrounds. The images pair delightfully with the text, propelling the story forward and connecting readers to Laxmi and her life. Additionally, Laxmi invites readers into her story at the beginning and the end, breaking the fourth wall and making children feel seen in a safe, friendly way. Mid-length text makes this story well suited to kids, whether as a read aloud or an independent read. Hindi words blend seamlessly into the dialogue, requiring no translation; however, these words also appear on the endpapers with accompanying visuals to reiterate this potentially new vocabulary. VERDICT Readers of all ages will appreciate the message of self-love presented within Laxmi's story, which takes on body positivity for a relatively young audience in an uplifting way.—Mary Lanni, formerly at Denver P.L. Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

After Laxmi's friend Zoe points out the hairs on her lip, Laxmi is very self-conscious until her East Indian parents help her to accept and celebrate her appearance.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A joyful, body-positive picture book about a young Indian American girl's journey to accept her body hair and celebrate her heritage after being teased about her mustache.Laxmi never paid much attention to the tiny hairs above her lip. But one day while playing farm animals at recess, her friends point out that her whiskers would make her the perfect cat. She starts to notice body hair all over--on her arms, legs, and even between her eyebrows. With her parents' help, Laxmi learns that hair isn't just for heads, but that it grows everywhere, regardless of gender. Featuring affirming text by Shelly Anand and exuberant, endearing illustrations by Nabi H. Ali, Laxmi's Mooch is a celebration of our bodies and our body hair, in whichever way they grow.