Cupertino Author Delivers Message of Tolerance With New Book

October 15, 2008

Author: Matt Wilson

Source: The Cupertino Courier

Cupertino resident Jessi Kaur has been active for years sharing the values of the Sikh faith and strengthening relationships between different religions and cultures. As a newly published author, Kaur has a new tool to reach a younger audience with those same messages.

Kaur recently published a children's book, "Dear Takuya ... Letters of a Sikh Boy," which shares a series of 16 fictitious letters sent by an 8-year old American Sikh boy named Simar to his Japanese pen-pal.

Kaur wanted to craft a children's book that could be informative, with a positive message of tolerance without being preachy.

"I wanted it to be about the common human values that we all share," she said. "This message has been given so many ways by adults that it seems to just fall on deaf ears. From a children's perspective, people may absorb more. It's in the context of their world."

To find a unique tone, Kaur decided to use the epistolary format for the 49-page book.

"It feels very personal in a letter format," she said. "It's not meant to be clever; it's personal. Nothing like this exists in Sikh literature."

The book handles some of the basic facts of Sikh religion, history and culture in a kid-friendly tone. The letters touch on such universal themes as bullying, teasing, making friends from other cultures, sharing and dealing with the jealousy and joy of a new sibling.