Stay for Dinner

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Stay for Dinner is a powerful story from multi-award-winning creators of The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name that celebrates culture and connection through food. 

Reshma loves dinnertime with her family. Her family eat with their hands – not just finger food type–eating, but hands-on squishy eating. When she’s invited to stay for dinner at her friends’ homes, she finds out that they all eat in different ways. Some go ting ting with their cutlery, and others go click clack with their chopsticks.

What will her friends say when they see her family eat with their hands?

★ WINNER of the 2024 Multicultural NSW Award at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards ★
★ 2024 CBCA Notable Picture Book of the Year ★
★ A Bookstagram Best Picture Book of 2023 ★
★Longlisted for the inaugural DANZ (Diversity in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand) Children's Book Award ★

'Stay for Dinner is a requirement on every bookshelf as a resource that teaches vital social skills and cultural appreciation—it’s a salve for everyday anxieties any child may feel in regards to fitting in with their peers. This picture book is a wonderful revelation of the true diversity evident within Australia.’ – Books+Publishing

'The words and images [in Stay for Dinner] combine perfectly like a feast. This is an important book about many more things than food. It highlights the importance of family, friendship, community, diversity, and acceptance—as well as delicious cuisine. Stay for Dinner is a keeper, to be read over and over again, just for the fun of it.' – Children's Book Council Australia

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27cm x 22cm






Hardie Grant Children's Publishing


17 May 2023


Sandhya Parappukkaran

Sandhya Parappukkaran left her job as a Food Technologist so she could put her feet up and read. Then she rediscovered her passion for children’s books. She writes stories with themes of ‘embracing your cultural identity’ inspired by her South Indian heritage. Sandhya resides in Brisbane with her husband,


Michelle Pereira

Michelle Pereira is an illustrator who spent her childhood in Nairobi, Kenya and now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Communication Design and became a professional illustrator after a somewhat extended, but enjoyable, stint of bar work. She has worked with a range of clients such as Penguin UK, Netflix, the New York Times and Marie Claire. Her work has won and been shortlisted for