Today we’re delighted to reveal the cover for A Garden in My Hands by Meera Sriram, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat! The book was edited by Rotem Moscovich, designed under the art direction of Nicole Gastonguay, and comes out in Spring 2023 from Knopf/Penguin Random House. Preorder it here.
This touching picture book celebrates the custom of applying henna for special occasions through a mother and daughter who share family memories and stories.
The sweet smell of henna, and stories we carry, fill us with pride of a faraway home.
There’s a wedding tomorrow! And one little girl sits patiently while her mother tenderly applies intricate, delicate henna designs on her hands. As she does, she shares family stories—about weddings, monsoons, and ancestors long gone. The little girl must be careful to protect her hands as the henna dries—one smudge could ruin a story! After a whole night of anticipation, when the flakes are washed away, what will they reveal?
Lyrical text pairs with vibrant illustrations for this poignant picture book that blooms with heart, connects us to our roots, and sweetly reminds us of the garden of love we curate with those closest to us.
As an Indian American, Meera has lived equal parts of her life in both countries. Previously an electrical engineer, she now writes for children and advocates for diversifying bookshelves. Meera is the author of several picture books including The Yellow Suitcase, Dumpling Day, A Gift for Amma that received the 2021 South Asia Book Award, and Between Two Worlds, an American Library Association’s 2022 RISE: A Feminist Book Project selection. Meera has also co-authored several kids’ books published in India. She believes in the transformative power of stories and likes to write about people, places, and experiences less visible in children’s literature. For more information, please visit: http://www.meerasriram.com
Sandhya Prabhat is an independent animator and illustrator from Chennai, India, now based in the Bay Area. She holds an MFA in animation and digital arts from NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia and a bachelor’s degree in literature from Stella Maris College. She has illustrated several picture books and middle-grade books, such as I Am Brown, Usha and the Big Digger, Ani’s Light, A Sari for Ammi, As Large as Life, and Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow. More information at sandhyaprabhat.com