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Always Anjali

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Anjali and her friends are excited to get matching personalized license plates for their bikes. But Anjali can't find her name. To make matters worse, she gets bullied for her "different" name, and is so upset she demands to change it. When her parents refuse and she is forced to take matters into her own hands, she winds up learning to celebrate who she is and carry her n ...more
Hardcover, 38 pages
Published June 15th 2018 by Bharat Babies
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Average rating 4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  77 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was so lovely and empowering. As a brown kid I used to hate my name and people always mispronounced it. And like Anjali, I wanted to change to something more "normal." To have a character like Anjali who stands up for herself and learns to love and appreciate her name and heritage, especially in a book for young readers? It's a wonderful and extremely important message, and I am thankful this book exists.

"To be different is to be marvelous" indeed.
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Picture-Books About Names
Excited at the gift of a bicycle for her seventh birthday, Anjali joins her best friends Mary and Courtney in cycling around the school carnival. But when the other two girls find specialized name-plates for their bikes and she cannot, leading to public ridicule of her name by the school bully, Anjali decides she'd like to become Angie instead. Her mother steps in and explains the meaning of the name Anjali - "divine gift" - and its importance as a marker of her family's Indian heritage, leading ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
"Be proud of who you are, Anjali. To be different is to be marvelous."

Delightful from the first spread—with Anjali with one eye open as she anticipates her birthday—to the last.
Samantha Small
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Literally a book about my best friend!
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Always Anjali is wonderfully illustrated. It has a design that is truly charming. What I enjoyed most was the theme behind Always Anjali. It can be hard growing up in a culture that doesn't think of you. One of Anjali's main struggles is finding a license plate for her bike that says her name. I struggled with this all the time growing up. My name wasn't particularly difficult
I admit I fell in love with the blurb of the book. It was a story so familiar. I still do it. I search for my name at times in the mall, on Christmas ornaments and such. My 9-year old does it too. We laugh and share how unique our names are. Author, Sheetal Sheth brings the very familiar situation in the form of a book and we loved it.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Spoiler Alert: Anjali's are the best
Jillian Heise
When Anjali can't find a name item with her name, but her friends can easily find theirs, and she gets made fun of by another classmate for her name, she is determined to change it. Something many will be able to relate to! When her mother explains the meaning behind her name and how she and her father chose it, Anjali finds a way to celebrate it. Bright, cheerful illustrations throughout this story, with Indian elements and motifs included, make this a fun book to share. I especially appreciate ...more
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My 4 year old son loves this book! We must have read it ten times in the first couple days of owning it. My son is Indian and white, and we're excited to read books with representations of Indian-American families. It's super sweet and I love that Anjali solves her feelings of frustration herself by inventing her own license plate with her name when she can't find one -- but then her white friends do the same thing. That was really nice -- not about bootstrapping and overcoming structural racism ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who has struggled with their name
I will write a full review in the near future, but in the meantime...

Reading this book (well, actually listening to it being read), brought a slew of emotions from my youth. I don't think I am the only adult who would feel this as they read this book to a child. Always Anjali, is a children's book, but it has an experience that many people, across cultures and regardless of age, can understand. The story is simple, about Anjali, a young girl bullied for her unique name. She fervently searches fo
Sophia Igarta
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diversity
Always Anjali focuses on diversity being something to be proud of, no matter what others may think. The message of this book is important for students of any culture/background to hear, and I think this book has a place in every classroom. I would use this book in my classroom by having students create their own license plates to show their uniqueness, just like Anjali. I would have each student present their license plate to the class and share what unique trait they chose to highlight on their ...more
Christianna Lapine
This is a book about Anjali. One day she and her friends look for their names on license plates to put on the back of her bike, but she doesn’t find one with her name. She gets bullied because of her different name, causing her to ask her parents to change it. I was really excited to read a book that has a South Asian character. Also being from Asia, I connected with this and have an American name. Maybe people coming to different countries choose to change their name, and in terms are losing a ...more
Annamarie Carlson (she, her)
Anjali is so excited for her new bicycle. She immediately rides it to the carnival with her friends, and they are all so excited to buy matching license plates with their names on them. But none of the premade plates have Anjali's name. An older boy starts making fun of her name, and other kids join in. Anjali runs home determined that she wants to change her name for good, until her parents teach her that her name was chosen especially for her.

While I don't have the cultural attachment to my n
Amanda Brooke
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Simple book that illustrates the perils of having a name that stands out. When I was a kid, I was the only Amanda/Mandy. I was born before it became a fad. When I was in middle school every other baby was named Amanda, but not Mandy. Even most of the Mandies I have met were born after the Barry Manilow song - which I endured. So surprisingly, I could never find a licence plate with my name on it - at least not until the 80s.

I often tell my students that their name is the first gift their parents
Julie Kirchner
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the message of this story and have seen, firsthand, what happens to kids who have a name that is not traditional sounding and easy to pronounce. Too many times they will say, it’s okay to mispronounce it. We need to do better and they need to know we will do better. The end papers have quotes from famous/successful people with unique names that share their personal stories. These are so powerful! I can’t wait to share this book with students.
Lorena Díaz
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Went all the way from Chile to Brooklyn to get the book. Absolutely worthwhile specially after reading it to my nephew whose skin tone happen to be darker than his peers. As soon as he saw his skin was similar to Anjali's, he paid more attention to the story. It is so well written that he got the message of embracing and enjoying his beingness as it is. And making the best of it.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love the exploration as Anjali’s struggles with her unique name. Great opportunity to discuss yeh story of names with added bonus look at cultures, traditions etc. lots of layers for literacy and Life Lessons.
Powerful message that many children need to learn: “There is greatness in not being one of the crowd.”
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Anjali is teased about her name. She discovers that her name is not included in common items to purchase such as bike license plates. After talking with her mom, she learns the meaning behind her name in Sanskrit. She makes her own license plate and stands proud of her name and herself.
Sheth presents a strong message about celebrating who you are and your heritage.
This was didactic in an over the top way, but I absolutely love the endpapers and list of people talking about the goods and bads of their names. Since I always started the school year (even all my volunteer years) with books about names, this might be interesting to add to those titles.
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Realistic well told story includes dealing with bullies, learning to understand and respect another culture. Enforces girl centered strength.
hades ☾
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
aaa this was lovely and so important!
Adding to my beginning of the year list. Great addition to the library.
Agree with others to pair with How Alma got her name
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great story, great illustrations, great message!
Allison Sirovy
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Perfect book about the importance of names!
Alice Ball
When Anjali struggles having a name that stands out in comparison to her friends Mary and Catherine. An empowering story about overcoming bullies and embracing our unique and authentic selves.
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a refreshing book! This is a story that many people can identify with... having an unusual name. The main character, Anjali, is full of spunk and the artwork beautifully captures her moods. I highly recommend this book to all children !
Oluwaseyi Adeniji
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: text-set
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Always Anjali tells the story of a little girl who wants to change her name because she cannot find a personalized license plate for her bike like her other friends. SHe gets bullied for her different name and decides she wants to be called Angie. When her father says that is not an option, Anjali emotionally runs to her room where her mother comes to join her. Her mother tells her about the wonder that is her name, where it comes from and how India is a magical place. I
Laura Hoyler
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book- especially great for kids who have names that are always mispronounced or are unique. While my spelling is a common one, very few people pronounce it correctly!
Darshana Khiani
rated it really liked it
Jul 19, 2019
Coach D
rated it really liked it
Dec 07, 2018
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