Sadiq Wants to Stitch is written by Mamta Nainy, illustrated by Niloufer Wadia, and published by Karadi Tales. The book is shortlisted for The Hindu Young World Goodbooks Award 2019 under the Best Illustrations category. It also features on the Neev Book Awards Shortlist, 2019, in addition to being nominated for the Jarul Book Children’s Choice Award, 2018.

Recommended age for self-reading:
Regular 7+ | Advanced 5+

The Itch to Stitch

Sadiq Wants to Stitch is a story of a young boy who grows up watching his Ammi stitching. Ammi stitches the most beautiful rugs Sadiq has ever seen. Enamored by the art of embroidery, he even helps Ammi by threading the needle for her. Sometimes, Ammi would even let him stitch a few patterns on the corner of the rugs. But as Sadiq gets older, his mother forbids him from stitching. She tells him to tend sheep like the other men in their community.

This story gives us a glimpse of the Bakarwal community in the valleys of Kashmir. Did you know the Bakarwal women choose colours depending on their moods? The book features all sorts of interesting insights!

Whenever Sadiq attends to the livestock, his artist’s eye picks out colours and patterns in nature. Try as he might to forget, Sadiq’s fingers itch to stitch once again. So he decides to take up the task in secrecy. 

Every night, Sadiq stays up late making beautiful patterns before he goes to bed. When Ammi falls ill and is unable to finish a rug on time, Sadiq comes to the rescue. He surprises everyone by pulling out a fully embroidered rug. Ammi is amazed! She finally realizes how skilled her son is. What does it matter if boys typically don’t stitch? She displays Sadiq’s rug proudly outside her home for everyone to admire.

Breaking Stereotypes

In a society rife with a hundred opinions on who must do what, books like Sadiq Wants to Stitch are essential for children to learn how to navigate their way in the world. If you’re looking for more books that turn the concept of gender on its head, check out Twelve Books For Feminist Boys and Girls.

You can also pick up our very own Ramya’s Bat, written by Ritika Subhash and illustrated by Chetan Sharma, which follows similar themes of breaking stereotypes. 

“When children read books that break gender stereotypes, research has found, they reach for less stereotypical toys and broaden their future goals.”

Twelve Books for Feminist Boys and Girls

By painting a tapestry of bright, colourful embroideries, illustrator Niloufer Wadia introduces us to this indigenous craft. The book also draws attention to the fact that embroidery and stitching is a dying art form, and how efforts are taken to preserve it.

Have you read Sadiq Wants to Stitch yet?

What did you think of the book?
Leave a comment below and let us know!

Check out out other reviews of books on the Neev Awards 2019 Shortlist.

Hungry for more children’s writing?
Don’t miss the Best of Indian Children’s Writing (BICW) – Contemporary Award List!

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