When Jiya meets Urmila, she sees a loud girl with a fierce expression and too-bright clothes. Urmila sees a snooty girl with a dull dress and no spunk. Can they ever be friends?


  • Class prejudices are subtly and not-so-subtly reinforced in numerous ways in our society. Shabnam Minwalla tackles the subject with insight and nuance in her latest hOle book.
  • Rather than spell it out, young readers are given information about how the two girls’ lives are different and then left to think about why a friendship between them would be unlikely. And yet, this is a story of how Jiya and Urmila go on to become the best of friends.
  • The book features an entertaining cast of characters, some of whom we may recognise from our everyday lives.
  • That people are not necessarily how they dress or look is one of the book’s most important takeaways.
  • Tanvi Bhat is a fantastic illustrator and one wishes there were more pictures. Though with the hOle books, part of the fun is seeing how the holes on the top right are incorporated in the art.
  • There are a few proofreading glitches, including one place where Jiya’s mother is referred to as Mrs Mistry and Mrs Shroff on the same page.


A lovely chapter book on friendship that will hopefully leave young readers questioning the prejudices that abound around them.


Author: Shabnam Minwalla
Illustrator: Tanvi Bhat
Language: English
Page Extent: 72 pages
Price: Rs.175.00
ISBN: 978-93-87103-06-1
Publisher: Duckbill, 2018
Subject category: Fiction/Chapter book/Friendship
Age-group: 7+

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