A picture book from India, The Wednesday Bazaar is a lovely tale of a little girl who loses her mother at the market/bazaar and finds her again after much searching and with help from many people at the bazaar. The illustrations by Sonal Gupta are beautiful and very evocative of India and its colorful scenery and and clothing.
The story itself is rather slight, but younger children will enjoy the suspense of watching little Bela look throughout the marketplace for her “Ma”. Characters who help Bela in her search are not so much introduced as they just appear in the story, but maybe that’s how it would seem to a lost child in the huge Indian bazaar.
Other picture books set in India:
Atkins, Jeannine. Aani and the Tree Huggers. Illus by Venantius Pinto. Lee and Low, 1995. A little girl tries to save a tree from harvest.
Balachandran, Anitha. The Dog Who Loved Red. Kane Miller, 2011. An Indian family’s dachshund chews everything, especially red things.
Bannerman, Helen. The Story of Little Babaji. Illustrated by Fred Marcellino. HarperCollins, 1996. The Story of Little Black Sambo, recast, to be set in India.
Bash, Barbara. In the Heart of the Village: The World of the Indian Banyan Tree. Sierra Club, 1996. A banyan tree is the heart and center of a rural Indian village.
Bond, Ruskin. The Cherry Tree. Penguin, 2012. Rakish plants a cherry seedling in his garden and watches it grow to maturity to bear fruit.
Cleveland, Rob. The Drum: A Folktale from India. A poor boy dreams of having a drum and learns kindness in pursuit of his dream.
Das, Prodeepta. I Is for India. Frances Lincoln, 2016. An Indian alphabet book with color photographs.
Das, Prodeepta. Geeta’s Day From Dawn to Dusk in an Indian Village. Frances Lincoln, 2010. Photographs of an Indian child’s day in the series A Child’s Day.
Hamilton, Martha and Mitch Weiss. Ghost Catcher. Illustrated by Kristen Balouch. August House, 2007. In a Bengali folktale, a barber outwits a bunch of ghosts.
Harvey, Miles. Look What Came From India. Franklin Watts, 2001. Products and inventions of India.
Heine, Theresa. Elephant Dance. Illustrated by Sheila Moxley. Barefoot Books, 2004. Grandfather tells Anjali and Ravi stories of India and the holiday parade of elephants.
Jayaveeran, Ruth. The Road to Mumbai. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2004. Show and her monkey, Fuzzy Patel, meet many characters on their imaginary journey to Mumbai for a cousin’s wedding.
Krishnaswami, Uma. Monsoon. Illustrated by Jamel Akib. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003. A child and her village await the beginning of the rainy season as the clouds bring the monsoon.
Makhijani, Pooja. Mama’s Saris. Illustrated by Elena Gomez. Little Brown, 2007. A seven year old girl wants to wear her mother’s beautiful, colorful saris.
Nayar, Nandini. What Should I Make? Illustrated by Proiti Roy. Tricycle Press, 2009. Neeraj’s mother is making chapatis and she’s given him a handful of the dough. What should he make with it?
Ravishankar, Anushka. Tiger on a Tree. Farrah Straus and Giroux, 2004. A frightened tiger climbs a tree and is trapped by the villagers. But what can they do with a tiger?
Sheth, Kashmira. Monsoon Afternoon. Ilustrated by Yoshiko Yaeggi. Peachtree, 2008. A young boy and his dadaji (grandfather) head out for a walk into the rainy monsoon weather.
Whelan, Gloria. In Andal’s House. Illustrated by Amanda Hall. Sleeping Bear Press, 2013. Kumar is turned away from Andal’s high caste Brahmin home because Kumar is a Dalit.
Whittaker, Zai. Kali and the Rat Snake. Illustrated by Srividya Natarajan. Kane Miller, 2006. Kali has always been proud of his father, who is the best snake catcher in their Indian village. But when he attends school, the children make fun of his Irula ways.
Young, Ed. Seven Blind Mice. Philomela, 1992. Seven blind mice investigate the strange Something by the pond. And one by one, they each come back with a different theory about what the Something is.