“An inspiring tale.” —Stacey Abrams, Former Minority Leader, Georgia House of Representatives; Founder and Chair, Fair Fight Action


Kamala Harris became an inspiration to the Indian diaspora when she was nominated for the US Elections and finally became the first woman Vice President. Her niece Meena took the opportunity to popularise her aunt and her mother’s accomplishments as children and motivate other children through Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea which is based on a story which Meena heard from her family. The text is minimal as suits a book for younger children, dominated by a colourful bouquet of illustrations by Ana Ramírez González which are very engaging and draw readers in.

What makes Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea stand apart is the fact that it highlights simple every day activism for children – little things that when put together form a useful whole for the greater community, in this case transforming an unused courtyard into a playground and involving the adults, something that many children in India, girls as well as boys, could take a cue from since India is a place of unused plots of land lying fallow. The book is also a lesson of unity in diversity – Americans from different countries of origin come together in one apartment building to enable the playground in the face of various refusals from the landlord. Once can see it being translated to India fairly easily.

The book of course provides an object lesson for Kamala Harris’ later success: its message is that determined, practical girls who think things through grow up to become Vice Presidents. Adults are likely to find that factor interesting and will definitely flip through the pages for themselves and read what Meena Harris has to say about her the ladies in her family. But that apart, the illustrations and effective story make it ideal for sensible reading with children and for planting productive ideas in their heads.


Reviewed by:

Anjana Basu

Added 29th April 2021

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Anjana Basu