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Children's Fiction Cooking & Food

Meena Can't Wait

by (author) Farida Zaman

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2024
Cooking & Food, Multigenerational, Diversity & Multicultural
Recommended Age
6 to 8
Recommended Grade
1 to 3
Recommended Reading age
6 to 8
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2024
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2024
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Meena is excited because today she's going to Nanu's house to drink tea and eat treats.

When Meena gets there, she's ready to get started...but her nanu tells her it's not time yet. Today they're going to have a very special Bengali tea called doodh cha, and they are going to make it together.

First, they harvest some ingredients from the garden. Then they head inside to prepare. Meena's tummy is rumbling as she smells her grandmother's freshly baked samosas and spice cake, but she helps crush the cardamom and cloves and learns when to add the milk, sugar and tea. While they're waiting for the doodh cha to be done, Nanu shares memories of her past in Bangladesh as they look at old photos, paint pictures and set the table. And when the doodh cha is finally ready, it's just as delicious as Nanu had promised. Nanu was right: "It always tastes better when we make it together."

Included in this book inspired by author Farida Zaman's own visits with her grandmother is Farida's family doodh cha recipe.

About the author

Farida Zaman is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist and writer who is well-known for her whimsical, uplifting designs. She has illustrated fourteen picture books, including When Mom's Away, Ta-Da! and The Yoga Game, and is the author/illustrator of I Want To Be… A Gutsy Girls’ ABC. Born in Bangladesh, and having called many different countries home, Farida describes herself as a global citizen with a flair for illustrating stories related to different cultures, travel, history, and diverse lived experiences. She trained in fine art and illustration at the Chelsea School of Art and the Wimbledon School of Art in London, England, where she graduated top of her class with honors. Her work has been exhibited at shows and galleries and has received recognition and awards in Europe and North America.

Farida Zaman's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“A simple and lovely introduction to the South Asian classic cup of tea… Farida Zaman uses watercolor and collage to create the colourful and engaging illustrations that draw the readers’ eyes to Meena and Nanu’s actions. Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“This vibrantly illustrated book is a quiet tribute to intergenerational relationships and family traditions. A tender, gentle tale that will help children live in the moment.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Inspired by childhood memories, Zaman showcases a strong intergenerational bond and the beauty of Bangladeshi culture. Any family or classroom seeking to teach children about different cultures would adore this love-filled story that also contains a recipe in the back.”

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

“While Meena’s tummy rumbles in anticipation of the snacks they’ll eat, Nanu schools her granddaughter in the culturally significant preparations of doodh cha…This is a touching story of intergenerational love and identity. Cheerful illustrations add some cultural context, and a recipe for doodh cha as well as a personal note from the author lend a sweet touch.”


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