Goodnight Ganesha Book Review and Fun Facts about Ganesha


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

I took last week off. My family made the decision to put my father into a memory care facility. His care has gotten to be too much for my mother and his Alzheimer's is getting worse. I needed time to help my mother move my dad and also time to grieve this next step. Although I'm still grieving I am trying to move on with life. So today I am sharing a new picture book that comes out this week. It is a bedtime story and is about the Hindu culture. It is perfect for Hindu kids as well as others who want to learn about other cultures. It will be available on August 31, 2021. The book is Goodnight Ganesha by Nadia Salomon and illustrated by Poonam Mistry. It is recommended for ages 3 to 7. To go with the book I will be sharing fun facts about the Hindu god, Ganesha, so it can be a learning experience for those not familiar with the Hindu religion.

From the Publisher:

A gorgeously illustrated goodnight story that celebrates the nighttime rituals of two young children visiting their grandparents in India.

As nighttime falls over the city, two children visiting their grandparents in India find there's so much fun to be had! Whether it's listening to epic stories or observing rituals in the puja room, there are many moments that make this time together special.

In this beautiful, rhyming ode to bedtime, the only thing more universal than getting ready for bed and saying goodnight is the love between children and their grandparents.

From Me:

What is the bedtime routine in your home? Does it change when the kids are at their grandparents'? At first I thought this book was going to be a Hindu version of Goodnight Moon. In some ways it is but this book goes further. Nadia shares her own bedtime routine when she visited her grandparents in India. Through the story the readers learns about the Indian culture. It starts with Ganesha watching over them. There is mention of marigolds, geckos, as well as Hindu gods and goddesses. Traditions are shared like the dim puja room. It is such a happy book and shares the intimate bedtime routine filled with her grandparents' love. At the end of the book there is a glossary and the author's note where she shares that it is based on her own experience. 

The pictures are fun and done in the Hindu tradition. The pages are set with colors but also draw the reader to it being nighttime and time to get ready for bed. This book shares a piece of Nadia's own experience and tradition and makes one think about one's own bedtime traditions. Perhaps it will even get people to create new ones. I hope you will check it out.

Fun Facts About Ganesha

Now as someone who does not know much about the Hindu tradition, I thought it would be interesting to learn about Ganesha. Here are some fun facts I found about him.

A ganesha sculpure in kandarmadam ganesha temple
A Ganesha Sculpture in Kandarmadam Ganesha Temple by Aathavan jaffna, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  1. Ganesha is sometimes referred to as Genesh. He is the Hindu god of wisdom.
  2. He has the head of an elephant. He has a big body that the entire universe can fit inside. He is red, orange or yellow. He has four arms and three eyes. He carries a mala, garland, and other items like a lotus flower.
  3. Ganesh Chaturthi, or the Hindu god Ganesh’s birthday, is celebrated during the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon). In 2021 this is September 10th. It is an 11 day festival and ends on September 21st.
  4. It is said that Ganesha can remove all obstacles and difficulties. Many Hindus pray to him before starting anything new.
  5. He is one of the most popular of the Hindu gods and goddesses.
  6. He loves sweets. He is often pictured holding laddoos which are round treats made from chickpea flour, sugar and ghee and are said to be his favorite treat.

  7. Besan ke laddoo Indian festivals hero
    Laddoos by PJ.wikilovesfood, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  8. He rides a mouse or rat. He even won a race riding his mouse and won the position of taking care of the people on Earth. He was racing his brother, Kartikeya, who rode a peacock.
  9. He wrote down the poem, Mahabharata, while Vyasa spoke it to him. It is one of the oldest and most important Hindu texts. Legend says his pen broke while writing it so he broke off his tusk and continued writing with it. This is why he is often pictured with a broken tusk.
  10. He does not get along with the moon because the moon laughed at him when he fell over on his birthday after eating too many laddoos. Ganesha cursed anyone who looks at the moon on his birthday.
  11. He is worshipped first before other gods in every holy procession.
  12. He grants success, happiness and prosperity.
  13. It is believed that he is married to twin sisters, Riddhi, goddess of prosperity, and Siddhi, goddess of intellect. He has two sons, Shubbha and Labha. Others believe he is a bachelor.
  14. Lord Ganesha is worshipped by Hindus and by Buddhists. He is often referred to as Vinayaka in Buddhism and is worshipped in countries like Tibet, China, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Nepal, Indonesia, and Japan.
  15. Reciting 108 names of Lord Ganesha during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival brings good luck to devotees.