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Author’s Sushi & Samosas encourages children to try new things


By Shelly Khushal

Richmond Hill’s Rishma Govani has penned a new children’s book, eloquently named, Sushi & Samosas. The proud mother of Mila & Khalil, who are the inspiration behind the two child characters, Asha and Raine in the book, her goal is for her children to keep trying new things in all aspects of their lives. 

The catalyst for Sushi & Somosas is a genuine interest and curiosity about the world around us. Her family are avid travelers, and Rishma’s passion for travelling has resulted in working stints in in Mexico, Pakistan, Washington D.C. and she has lived in the south of France too. The book was conceived nearly a decade ago and kept marinating for a long time. The concepts are still as applicable as they were 10 years ago.

Govani is the founder of the Toronto Food Luck Club (TFLC), a thriving dinner club whose goal was to try a different ethnic cuisine once a month. The club’s tag line was creating global awareness from the love of food. (You can find more details here: She also co-led a book club, PAGES, whose purpose was to try a different book from a different culture.  Rishma is currently working on her next kids’ book which is focused on grief around the world – another topic that binds us together.

Sushi & Samosas unites us globally by acting/eating local. Much like music and art, food is another avenue to learn about another background, another perspective. It’s an easy, safe non-threatening way to get to better know and understand each other, and create a cross-cultural understanding beyond borders.

Change and progress is slow but this book attempts to break down barriers by the spoonful.

Here’s a little description:

“Sushi! No way!” exclaimed Raine.

“Samosas! Never!” screamed Asha.

Raine and Asha, two bright yet stubborn kids, are afraid to try new foods, and prefer to stick to their familiar diet of chicken nuggets and fries. Their adventurous foodie parents are on a mission to change their minds, and have some tricks up their sleeves to get their children to open up and open wide.

Take this delicious journey around the world with Raine and Asha and their parents, and be sure to bring your hungry appetites along for the globe-trotting ride.

What better way to create global awareness than through the love of food? This fun book advocates for diversity, tolerance, and cross-cultural understanding, and believes that breaking down barriers by the spoon is an essential introductory step for kids to learn more about the world around them.

It’s a timely, fun book that appeals to parents, teachers, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) experts, avid readers and, most of all, those picky eaters out there.  Even parents, grandparents and teachers have attested that they are risk-averse when it comes to food, and this book has challenged them to try new types of food as well.

The book is available online at Amazon, Indigo/, Walmart, Target, Barnes and Noble and other online retails. It is also available at local retailers like Bookworms & Co in Aurora and the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. The author, who considers herself a DEI advocate and champion from birth, is currently touring schools in Canada and the USA offering young readers a delightful virtual reading session.

Main photo: An illustration from Sushi & Samosas by Richmond Hill author Rishma Govani.

Photo row: Shelly Khushal’s daughter Misha reads Sushi & Samosas; an illustration from the book; the book cover and author Rishma Govani.

Shelly Khushal is a busy mother of two and an active member of the York Region community, always keeping abreast of the social scene, latest trends and productshighlighting fun events in and around York Region.

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