My Name is Cinnamon by Vikas Prakash Joshi: A Review

My Name Is Cinnamon is a moving and inspirational narrative about adoption, identity, and the search for a feeling of belonging written by Vikas Prakash Joshi. Cinnamon, the protagonist, is an adopted youngster who lives in Pune with his Bengali mother and Marathi father. The author deftly blends together many subjects such as adoption, culture, gastronomy, and the difficulties faced by those with Usher Syndrome.

In Pune, India, Vikas Prakash Joshi works as a writer, editor, translator, public speaker, novelist, amateur cook, and freelance journalist.My Name Cinnamon (Hay House 2022), his debut book for children, was published in November 2022, and it has been hailed all over the world, in over 20+ countries, recommended by several renowned Indian writers, and earned a number of publication offers. The book has also been acquired for film adaptation by Story Ink, a Mumbai-based production company. There are also plans to translate the book into other languages. It was illustrated by Niloufer Wadia, a well-known and award-winning children's book illustrator. 

He began writing weekly columns for a local newspaper at the age of 17, and went on to win awards at city, state, national, and worldwide writing competitions. He is a graduate of prominent national institutes such as ACJ Chennai and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, and he has written for India's premier periodicals. His essays, book excerpts, and short tales have been translated into 31 languages, including foreign and Indian languages, and have appeared in 24 nations' offline and online magazines. He has received nine honours for public speaking.

The story takes us through Cinnamon's upbringing, which is packed with visits to his grandparents' house and school life in urban Pune. His joyful upbringing, however, is shattered when he is refused a bicycle as a birthday present, making him feel insecure about being adopted. Nonetheless, his adoptive parents take on the duty of supporting him in reconnecting with his birth mother, ending in a truly poignant emotional trip.

Joshi's writing style is engaging and easy to read, incorporating Marathi and Bengali words and dishes to give the book an authentic feel. The author employs clever metaphors, similes, and amusing nicknames for teachers and classmates, which adds a touch of humour to the story.

The book offers valuable insights into adoption, cultural differences, and Usher Syndrome, making it an excellent read for readers of all ages. The illustrations by Niloufer Wadia are adorable and provide an extra layer of charm to the book.

While the copious descriptions of food and culture do slow down the story at times, the book's fundamental ideas and emotional journey more than make up for it. As a whole, "My Name Is Cinnamon" is a heartwarming and thought-provoking novel about the universal human yearning for identification and belonging. I would strongly suggest it to anyone looking for hope and inspiration through difficult circumstances.

The Holistic Pine Ranking:
⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5 Stars