Rewind to March 2017 when you received the most adorable picture of Baby Zarathustra in your inbox/Whatsapp messenger app. Yes, we are referring to the same viral picture that you couldn’t resist forwarding to everyone on your contact list for Navroz last year.
We caught up with Delzin Choksey, who we previously introduced to you, as the artist and illustrator of that viral image, and learned that she has even bigger news to share this year.
Delzin — a California-based Zoroastrian entrepreneur — is excited to introduce her latest venture, “Color and Learn – My First Zoroastrian Coloring Book” to Zoroastrians all over the world.
Delzin originally set out on this project as a way to introduce her own daughter Zinaya to Zoroastrianism through an activity most children thoroughly enjoy—colouring. But in time she recognized the need to compile her illustrations into a book and to make it available to every Zoroastrian parent around the world.
“Color and Learn” is an eight-page colouring book, that aims to introduce children to our culture and traditions by highlighting basic Zarathushti symbols like the Sagan Ni Ses, Farohar, Atash, etc. Printed on 8″ x 11″ premium quality paper the book is great for crayons and holds up well even to watercolours. It provides many hours of fun and encourages our young bawas and bawis to recognize as well as identify with all things Zoroastrian. For all you Sunday School teachers, this book also makes a fantastic addition to Sunday School programs for young Zarathustis.
Already in its second print run, Delzin’s book is currently a best-seller for her studio Crispy Doodles with orders from Zoroastrian Sunday school programs across the United States. The Crispy Doodles online store also features cute frames for Baby Zarathushtra and other gift ideas like personalized inspirational canvases for kids rooms, an ABC coloring book and her highly popular Baby Ganesha frames.
Find her book and other products in India at: bit.ly/crispydoodlesindia and in the U.S. and the rest of the world at: bit.ly/crispydoodles
Tanaz Bhathena was born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada. She is the author of A Girl Like That and The Beauty of the Moment (forthcoming in 2019). Her short stories have appeared in various journals including Blackbird, Witness and Room. A wanderer at heart, Tanaz can often be found travelling to different countries, learning bits and pieces of a foreign language, and taking way too many photographs. She loves slapstick comedies and any kind of music that makes her dance. She lives in the Toronto area with her family.
A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved.
Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school. You don’t want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.
This beautifully written debut novel from Tanaz Bhathena reveals a rich and wonderful new world to readers. It tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion, and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal.
A Junior Library Guild Selection
★ “Bhathena makes an impressive debut with this eye-opening novel about a free-spirited girl in present-day Saudi Arabia.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
★ “Bhathena’s lithe prose effortlessly wends between past and present…A powerful debut.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“Bhathena does something exceptionally difficult and smart in her first book. She draws in readers with an irresistible “Who is she?” premise, only to dismantle it by showing the rarely seen perspective of a teenage girl living in the Middle East…[T]his is the story of a girl you won’t be able to stop thinking about.” — The Globe and Mail
“A Girl Like That is a book which readers will enjoy and will remember long after other novels come and go.” — CM Magazine (****/4)
“A refreshingly nuanced narrative about gender in the Middle East.” — Kirkus
“A Girl Like That is haunting, uncomfortable, and poignant, with persistent characters who stay with the reader, much like the ghosts hovering over the accident at the beginning of the story.” — Quill and Quire
“A Girl Like That is a book framed by loss… Zarin continues to be unapologetically herself – a messy, complicated, brave, and lovely person – right up to the end. One of the most important books I’ve read, Bhathena is a unquestionably a writer to watch.” — Kinsey Foreman, Odyssey Bookshop, MA
“A Girl Like That is unlike any YA book I’ve ever read: a fascinating and disturbing glance into the gender discrimination and double-standards as seen through the eyes of a teenage girl in Saudi Arabia. It raised awareness for me, and is certain to inspire discussion about equality, justice, and basic human rights.” — Jodi Picoult, #1New York Times Bestselling Author of Small Great Things and Leaving Time
“Vivid, intricately woven, and wholly immersive, A Girl Like That is a debut that will leave you both haunted and hopeful. Tanaz Bhathena is masterful at writing complicated girls and the people in their orbits.” — Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of Firsts
“Tanaz Bhathena has a rare ability to take a setting that would be unfamiliar to many and make it so instantly and profoundly relatable. This is a shimmering, glowing, radiant novel.” — Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King
“Masterfully constructed and gorgeously written, A Girl Like That is both a page-turner about a ferocious girl fighting the twisted expectations of both family and culture, and a thoughtful meditation on the pain that weighs us down, and the love that lifts us up.” — Laura Ruby, Printz Award-winning author of Bone Gap
I have recently reprinted the prayer book shown in the picture above.
It is a wonderful translation & transliteration of the Daily Zoroastrian prayers into simple English with meanings and insightful explanatory notes which, when read along with the daily prayers, gave me a new joy of understanding, comprehending and analysing, rather than simply reciting by rote the words that I knew out of habit.
I strongly feel that Framroz Rustomjee’s timelessly relevant words of advice stand good for all of us, be it parents teaching their children the Navjote prayers or adults seeking to understand the philosophy of Zoroastrianism better.
It is available for Rs 200 at the Parsiana bookshop, Zoroastrian Studies bookshop and & Minoi Meher outside the Anjuman Atashbehram in Mumbai. Or contact me by email: email@example.com
Proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to charity.