Ria & Raj and the Gigantic Diwali Surprise

Ria and Raj and the Gigantic Diwali Surprise
ISBN 978-1-902544-08-3

Meet Ria and Raj – twin brother and sister, who are often inseparable and always adventurous.   
Diwali is here and Ria and Raj are cooking up some mischief in the kitchen! They are helping mummy make scrumptious Indian sweets for their family and friends, but making 200 of them is not easy! That is until Raj has a great idea, and with Ria’s help they prepare a gigantic surprise for their family.

Authors profile Kiran Lyall
Illustrator’s Profile Venisha Sudra

National Distributor - Central Books

Product code: Ria and Raj
Stock:in stock
£ 5.99
Buzzword UK is delighted to have published ‘Ria & Raj and the Gigantic Diwali Surprise’. A 36-page illustrated picture storybook aimed at 3-6 year olds and the first in a new series about these two delightful Indian characters have been brought to life to share their adventures. They illustrate the life of a modern Indian family living in Britain.
Ria & Raj and the Gigantic Diwali Surprise sets the scene of family life during a very auspicious occasion. It’s a perfect gift for Diwali as it represents the warmth and joy of the festival in a contemporary environment.
Kiran Lyall and Venisha Sudra produced this book in order to enlighten readers and update the image of life as a British Indian. This book is the first of its kind as it steers away from the stereotype, the religious elements and focuses on the day-to-day life of two very captivating 4year old twins.
‘Ria & Raj and the Gigantic Diwali Surprise’ is available from this website and from all major bookstores.Priced at £5.99 this paperback will have every child eagerly waiting for story time.  

The team
About Kiran Lyall, Author:  Born and raised in Kent, England, Kiran’s love of writing and storytelling came early when, at 16, she entered her first publishing role. She continued working in a variety of positions in the publishing industry, which nurtured and developed her writing and storytelling skills, whilst also gaining different perspectives from traveling the world and spending many holidays in India. Now in her thirties and after the success with her language book ‘Have Fun with Panjabi’, Kiran’s young son became the inspiration for her to use her writing skills to produce fun, enjoyable stories for children.
About Venisha Sudra, Illustrator:  Venisha graduated in 1999 with BA Hones in Media Production, since then she has focused on design and has worked for several publications and companies. She has adapted her knowledge of design to create artwork for businesses including branding, identity, advertising; she has created illustrations, designed books,  packaging, banners and booklets. Her most recent role was with Haymarket Media Group, where she was Art Editor of a weekly magazine, Media Week. Over the years, Venisha has travelled to various parts of the world and experienced the traditions and practices of many cultures. She brings her knowledge of design together with the importance of educating the children of our multicultural world.

Amazon.co.uk  Book review 6 June 2014
Beautifully made book telling the story of a brother and sisters Diwali celebrations. Perfect to read to younger children or for older children to read themselves. Love the quirky illustrations. I work in a school and read it to the year 3 children as part of a learning about Diwali lesson and they were mesmerised by the story and pictures (so not just for Asian kids). Can't wait for another Ria and Raj book!

Would highly recommend.
m khambay

Diwali Special – Book Review of “RIA & RAJ: The Gigantic Diwali Surprise”
In a nutshell: excellent read for Asian children and parents. A book that is fun and has culture in it. In my opinion, it is imperial that children’s books have a hidden message in them, where they take something from it.  In addition, this message should be presented in an interesting and fun manner.

Ria & Raj And the Gigantic Diwali Surprise does just that.

It starts off with Ria & Raj helping their mum in the kitchen for Diwali preparations. Their mum is making ladoos to give the temple and guests for Diwali. Personally, I like the authors’ choice of making ladoos as opposed to other Indian sweets. This is predominantly due to the fact that ladoos are traditional yet fun for kids to make.

Kids in western countries can draw similarities between baking cookies and making ladoos. This similarity is depicted when Raj and Ria ask if they can make a spaceship shaped ladoo and a princess one respectively. This illustrates that ladoo making can be a fun activity that keeps the children entertained whilst keeping the culture alive.

Also, the concept of sharing is highlighted with the intention for the ladoos to be given to people. Like any mischievous child, Raj has an idea to make one big ladoo instead of 200 small ones. While making it, there is a lot of emphasis on the sounds. For instance, reading squish and squash aloud repetitively would be a fun read for children.

I like the fact that Ria & Raj are both Asian names that are easy to pronounce. This makes it easier for children to read with confidence. Moreover, I simply  love the idea of the surprise being an enormous ladoo. The imagery is akin to a big snowball. It sounds like a lot of fun, even for an adult!

There’s a further emphasis on sharing when Raj points out that they can cut the big ladoo into different pieces to still give the temple and guests. So they go along with their idea. And the surprise of the big ladoo is for their parents to unveil.

In conclusion, this book would make an excellent festive and educational gift for children on Diwali. But don’t forget to give them a box of ladoo with the book to ‘squish and squash’ and form a gigantic surprise of their own!
You can purchase the book online here.  Be sure to get it before Diwali!

Diwali is such a HUGE celebration. Lights, fireworks, sweets & new beginnings ... it really is an important event.

Author Kiran Lyall has penned a charming story focusing on the mischief siblings Ria & Raj get up to whilst preparations for Diwali are underway.

Mum has asked Ria and Raj to do just one thing .. help prepare the sweets for their Diwali celebrations. All they have to do is mould lots of little circles. No funny shapes. Just circles ... and lots of them! Ria and Raj have other ideas, and after lots of squishing and squashing ... well, let's just say that wasn't want mum had planned!!

Elements of the Diwali celebrations are carefully incorporated into the story - dad brings home presents, brightly coloured lights are seen in the kitchen, and that final illustration depicts the family resplendent in their new clothes. However, the main focus is on the antics of Ria & Raj making this a charming little story in its own right.

Venisha Sudra's illustrations are vibrant and clear, making Ria & Raj and the Gigantic Diwali Surprise a great picture book to read in the classroom too.


Avid Scribbler Reviews: Ria and Raj and the Gigantic Diwali Surprise
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