Arts/Society - Dear Takuya. Letters Of A Sikh Boy | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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Arts/Society Dear Takuya. Letters Of A Sikh Boy


Nov 4, 2007
“There is a deep desire among the Sikhs in the Diaspora to communicate to Sikh and non-Sikh children the core values of Sikh history, religion, culture and customs. Not enough children’s books of high quality on these subjects are available to meet this need. In Dear Takuya, Jessi Kaur has come up with an elegant and eloquent way to convey Sikh philosophy and values to Sikh and non-Sikh children, as well as grownups. Anyone who reads this book will taste the essence of Sikhism.”

Dr. N.S. Kapany
Chairman, Sikh Foundation, Palo Alto, California

SOURCE: lookInside

“Inter-religious understanding must begin at an early age and at a personal level; it cannot be left to the halls of academia. In Dear Takuya, an eight-year-old Sikh boy living in California shares his faith and identity, his joys and challenges, with his Japanese pen pal across the Pacific. Sikhism unfolds spontaneously through his young eyes, his emotions, his voice. What a wonderful way of bringing our disjointed world together!”
Dr. Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh
Crawford Family Professor of Religious Studies
Colby College, Waterville, Maine

“Sikh parents in the Diaspora struggle with the challenge of sharing their Sikh heritage with their children and even more, with making them feel comfortable with who they are, while being so visibly different from their peers. In this charming little book, Jessi Kaur has taken a unique and rather creative approach to addressing this need. Sikh children will find Dear Takuya a fun way to learn about Sikhi, while perusing an absorbing book that will be much easier to relate to than materials or lectures that attempt to impart some of this information in a more traditional way.”
Dr. Inder M. Singh
Chairman, Chardikalaa Foundation, Los Gatos, California

“I loved the story. The explanation of the customs, traditions and religion was very enlightening. When we understand the reasons for differences between cultures, the differences seem to matter less.”
Karen Heverling
Elementary School Principal

“The story was an absolute pleasure to read! I love the pen pal letter format because it makes the story a personal one. It touches the heart in a very tender way as one reads about how Simar deals with cultural biases in his daily life outside of his home and ethnic community.”
Marisa Paule
First Grade Teacher

“After reading Dear Takuya, I definitely have a better sense of what it means to be a Sikh boy. I really like the letter format. It made the story more reader-friendly and certainly held my interest. The story covers a lot of information: discrimination, food, clothing, being at a camp and feelings kids experience about having a new addition in their families. I think every child will be able to relate to different parts of the story, which is important.”
Shirin Dodson
Second Grade Teacher

“Jessi Kaur carefully delivers the essence of Sikh philosophy through her well-developed children’s book, Dear Takuya. The epistolary format cleverly lends itself to an easy and educational read for children all around. Through touching, funny, and informative letters from Simar, the author is able to aptly capture the sensitivity of a child and celebrate his diversity, all the while reminding us about both the pain and joy of growing up. Dear Takuya is a must-have for each and every elementary school classroom library!”
Payal Singh
Middle School Teacher

“I think Dear Takuya would be a valuable addition to classrooms and libraries as it demystifies a culture that many people don’t know much about. Kids are quick to judge on outward appearances and make fun of what they don’t understand; Dear Takuya provides insight and understanding.”
Nikki Merrick
High School Teacher’s Trainer

“Dear Takuya is a very smooth and engaging read. Profound information is simplified in a way that is interesting for six to ten-year-olds. I read it to my six-year-old daughter Sufi, who was game initially only for reading one page. Soon, she got very involved and read through and enjoyed the entire book with me. That is saying quite a bit!”
Reshma Singh
Parent of a six-year-old

“I read Dear Takuya in one sitting. I found it very interesting. I felt that Simar’s story was my story.”
Balmeet Singh
Age 11

“Whereas Dear Takuya will help develop understanding of basic Sikh principles and practices, it will do even more to create feelings of connectedness across racial and ethnic boundaries, in young and older children alike.”
Pushpinder K. Singh
ELD Elementary School Teacher and Author, The Boy With Long Hair

A contemplative yet lively book, Dear Takuya grounds a discussion of some of the most serious issues facing us today in an engaging narrative style that will excite both children and adults. Through the eyes of a young boy, respect for all people - regardless of religious beliefs, physical appearance, or gender – shines through as the most obvious and honest perspective. Clearly it is not only children who can learn from the message of Dear Takuya!

As I reached the end of the book, I was left hoping to someday have the chance to hear the story of little Jasmine Kaur, the newborn sister of the story's protagonist – the life of a Sikh princess must be pretty exciting too!
Overall, the book was a joy to read and I look forward to the second edition!
Best wishes,
Robert Pontsioen

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