Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 25, 2019


Author Meera Sriram has a new picture book titled, THE YELLOW SUITCASE. It is is hitting bookstores on March 12th. Meera has agreed to share a book with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Meera!


In The Yellow Suitcase by Meera Sriram, Asha travels with her parents from America to India to mourn her grandmother’s passing. Asha’s grief and anger are compounded by the empty yellow suitcase usually reserved for gifts to and from Grandma, but when she discovers a gift left behind just for her, Asha realizes that the memory of her grandmother will live on inside her, no matter where she lives.


When my first child was born, more than a decade ago, we enjoyed reading together many wonderful books on a wide range of themes. We turned to board books and picture books for everything – milestones, holidays, travel, first experiences, gifts, and early learning. However, something was missing in them. People and experiences like our own. Children like my own.

For years, I went on a deliberate hunt to discover and read stories with protagonists of color, families laying bicultural roots, children perceived as different owing to gender, race, ability, or anomalous life experiences, and stories that fleshed out challenges of calling more than one place home. I blogged, recommended, and celebrated diverse books. I still do. However, the number of books that encompassed these themes were very few, meager when compared to what was available on bookshelves everywhere.

This was disturbing.

In 2015, when I began writing picture books, I knew I wanted to tell stories not commonly told and with characters not often visible in mainstream children’s literature.

One of my kids’ experiences that stuck with me was when my children lost their first grandparent in India (where I was born and raised), and how they reacted to our immediate physical and emotional responses. Death of a grandparent (or of a relative, friend, pet, or neighbor) is a fairly common and sadly inevitable experience in many children’s lives. But we hardly talk about it with our kids, or in books or classrooms. Also, cultures handle funerals differently. The challenges are compounded when the family is bicultural or if distance is a barrier, like in many immigrant families.

I believed that the more we talked about it, the more we normalized it both for kids to help cope and for the rest to empathize. This is applicable to several difficult issues in our societies today.


On a Monday morning inside a noisy cafe, I shared my thoughts and brainstormed the story with my critique partners. They welcomed the idea, and nurtured my writing then on. Many iterations later, I ended up with a polished version. People who read it teared up, or reminisced, or shared similar yet different personal stories. Soon, I submitted the manuscript to industry professionals. Many doubted the need for a grief story or the quietness of it for children. However, someone eventually appreciated its importance and relevance. And liked it enough to publish it. I’m truly grateful to my editors at Penny Candy Books for this.

A story meanders like a river exploring deep and dark crevices, singing a song, gathering new things, and resisting boulders, while relentlessly flowing past people and places, until it seeps and drains into a bountiful ocean. Such has been the journey of The Yellow Suitcase.



Meera Sriram grew up in India and moved to the U.S at the turn of the millennium. An electrical engineer in her past life, she now enjoys writing for children and advocating early and multicultural literacy. Meera has co-authored several children’s books published in India. “The Yellow Suitcase” is her debut picture book in the U.S. She believes in the transformative power of stories and writes on cross-cultural experiences that often take her back to her roots. Meera loves yoga and chai, and lives with her husband and two children in Berkeley, California, where she fantasizes about a world with no borders.

Thank you Meera for sharing your book and journey with us. I feel this book is a much needed book in the market. Click here if you would like to pre-order this book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I’m so happy this book is going to be out soon! Meera, you’ve created a beautiful book that handles a challenging yet universal subject in a lovely way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We DO need books about grief for children! Way to go! Can’t wait to read this one. 🙂 Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Meera, this book sounds wonderful and much needed in more than one way. Congratulations on it! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations, Meera!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations! Great interview on pushing to get those topics more exposure to helps children with the natural occurrences in life. My son has learned about different themes from books. It’s comforting to know there are books out there he can refer to to help deal with those things that us adults may not have the right words for.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This lovely book addresses a universal theme that will fill a need for all children grieving the loss of a beloved grandparent.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Meera – I’m really glad you wrote this book – the themes and characters are so important for parents and children to read about, and I look forward to sharing it with my daughter, Meara.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This sounds like a wonderful book that is needed. Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations, Meera! I love the theme of your book and can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on sindhusays.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Congratulations m! Such an important story to tell!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We need books about grief for children, absolutely. And we need books about people of all different ethnicities and cultures; not only should children be able to read about people like them, but they should read about people who are different, too – so this is a book for all children.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congratulations Meera! This book is needed by the world (and the children that live in it). I can’t wait for its release! ❤ XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  14. There is a dearth of good Children literature. The fact of the matter is that the child within us lives forever and he always looks out of things and experiences that connect him to the lost childhood. So thank you for writing children literature and this book and help bring back, hopefully, memories of childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I definitely think there is a need for children’s books that address grief. And I can see how the grief experience would vary by culture. Looks like a great read!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Not only do we need books about grief for children we need ones that span generations and transcends cultures.

    Liked by 1 person

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