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Sambasivan & Parikh | Modern Marigold Books

Dancing Devi

Dancing Devi

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Words By: Priya Parikh | Art By: N. Dejeshwini

Celebrate the beauty of classical Indian dance while learning to grow through missteps and failures

Devi wants to be a perfect bharatanatyam dancer, just as she believes her mom to be, but she is disheartened when she loses her first dance competition. Devi decides to practice until she is perfect, but no matter how hard she works on her facial expressions or her footwork, she keeps making mistakes. She is at the point of giving up, when Devi’s mother shares the mistakes she made while learning how to dance, helping Devi realize that imperfection and failure are a part of learning.

A culturally rooted picture book that shares a universal message of dedication and self-love through the practice of a classical Indian dance form.


IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award—Best New Voice, Children's & YA, Silver Award (2023)

NYC Big Book Award—Children's: Motivational (2023) 

"Bright contemporary illustrations and informative back matter add context and depth to this sweet story that makes for a worthwhile read-aloud with the potential for rich discussions."—Booklist

"Bright cultural touches...complement the book’s messages."—Foreword Reviews


Realistic Fiction, Determination, Asian American, Family Stories, Family, Self-Management, Social-Emotional Learning, The Arts, Include Phonetic Glossary, Include Teaching Resources, Picture Book, Growth Mindset

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Book Details

Reading Level Recommendations

Grades: K-3

Ages: 5-7


Subject Categories

JUV031020-JUVENILE FICTION / Performing Arts / Dance,JUV039050-JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings,JUV011020-JUVENILE FICTION / Asian American & Pacific Islander


Hardcover: 9781735031934

Paperback: 9798986755847

eBook: 9781735031996


Publication Date:

  • Teacher Guide Samples

    Teacher Guide

    Educator-designed modules to integrate ELA, STEAM, Social-Emotional Learning, and Social Studies lessons into culturally responsive curriculum.

  • Free Activity Sheets for Classrooms

    Activity Sheets

    Printable activity sheets for extended learning that include STEM and ELA games, culturally rooted arts & crafts and more!

  • Sample Flipbook Cover Images From YouTube

    Additonal Resources

    A growing video library that includes glossaries and pronunciation guides, flip books with narration, author read-alouds, book trailers, and much more.

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Meet the Author

Growing up, Bharatnatyam played an important role in Priya Parikh's life. Training as a Bharatanatyam dancer for more than a decade, she completed her Arangetram, a debut performance of her formal dance training, in 2009. When she's not dancing and writing, Priya is a public health professional, working with nonprofits and the public sector, to improve access to healthcare services globally.

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Meet the Illustrator

Dejeshwini, an artist based in Chennai, India, spent her early days doodling in her school books and thus stepped into the world of art and imagination. Self-taught, Dejeshwini spends time observing the beauty and aesthetics of life and nature and fills her artwork with emotion and cheer. Dancing Devi is Dejeshwini's 4th children's book and she looks forward to continuing her work for children to enjoy and learn from.

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