We are huge fans of Sheetal Sheth's first book, Always Anjali. Bravo Anjali is a great successor to that special book that our kids could relate to and understand so completely. In Bravo Anjali, Anjali is a talented tabla player but more than anything else, she loves playing it. Things turn sour when Deepak, who was her good friend, starts giving her a hard time for being better than others. "People are only interested because she’s the only girl in tabla class and they want her to feel special. She’s not that good--.” Doesn't this somehow sound familiar to us? This is what Deepak tells everyone in class, much to Anjali's disdain. She then purposely messes up her playing to fit in but then finds a way back to the music that she loves so dearly. I was stunned when I heard what Deepak said and what Anjali did to deal with the situation. We tend to underplay our talents on purpose in order to fit in. I did this constantly in college because the teasing and the taunting got too much. At one point, I decided to throw these apprehensions to the wind and do what I loved doing most - learning and acing my projects and assessments, speaking out in class whenever I had an opinion. This great book, illustrated to perfection by Lucia Soto, written so brilliantly by Sheetal Sheth, cautions us against these little fears and encourages us to celebrate ourselves. Very often, we subjugate our needs to those of others and seek approval as a form of validation. Music is a great way to break free of these barriers and to really connect with what we love doing. Also, we absolutely love Anjali's little monologue in the bathroom stall. This is something that all kids go through and it is great to read a book that gives voice to it. Bravo Anjali is also fun and re-affirms friendship in its final pages. Don't miss!