The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Harpreet Singh adores colour, from pastel shades to vibrant hues. He wears a different colour for every mood, carefully matching each outfit to his patka, a type of turban often worn by Sikh boys. Harpreet chooses sunshine yellow to spread cheer and happiness, while celebration pink is perfect for dancing along to bhangra beats. When he and his family move to the other side of the country for his mother's job, Harpreet wears red to help him find the courage to say goodbye to his old home.
However, he finds it difficult to settle in the new town and selects his clothes from an increasingly subdued palette to reflect his feelings: blue for nervousness when starting a new school, grey when he is feeling sad and white when he feels so shy that he wants to be invisible.
This touching picture book explores common themes of everyday insecurities, such as moving home, starting a new school and dealing with change, while sensitively demonstrating the importance of friendship. The attractive illustrations use a range of colours and tones to effectively reflect Harpreet's emotions and an afterword about Sikhism explains the significance of patkas in his religion.