Dadaji’s Paintbrush

Rashmi Sirdeshpande, illustrated by Ruchi Mhasane

Longlisted for the Jhalak Children’s & Young Adult Prize 2023

A picture book tale of the bond between boy and grandfather. Set in India this story takes us through a boy’s lifetime with his grandfather and their shared love of painting. As is the way with life, the grandfather dies and leaves the boy his best paintbrush. The pain of grief was too much and the boy tried to forget about the paintbrush. His home and his heart feel empty until a young girl comes round and asks him to teach her to paint, just as his dadaji taught her mummy. The colour came back into the boy’s life and he rediscovers his love for painting and for sharing that love.

Beautifully illustrated with the vibrant colours of India making way for grey tones to represent grief this is a lovely book to share and to help talk about death and feelings around losing someone you love.

Published by Andersen Press

Reviewed by Tash Hyde