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Mama's Saris Hardcover – Illustrated, May 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316011053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316011051
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,327,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—On her seventh birthday, the narrator helps her mother select a sari to put on for her party and they recall the various occasions at which she wore each beautiful outfit. In the process, readers learn that the girl's mother only dons a sari for special events, while her grandmother dresses in one every day. The child pleads to be allowed to wear one and her mother finally agrees, saying, "just today, because it's your birthday." Mama wraps the cloth around her, finishing with bangles and a bindi (a decorative mark worn on the forehead). The child's happiness is evident in her expression as she tells her mother, "I think I look like you!" The colorful, detailed acrylic illustrations complement the simple storyline by showing the designs of the various saris mentioned in the text. A glossary of the Hindi words is provided. A pleasant offering about family traditions that depicts a positive interaction between mother and daughter.—Margaret R. Tassia, Millersville University, PA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

On her seventh birthday, an Indian girl watches her mother put on a sari ("so different from the gray sweaters and brown pants that she wears to work"), and she yearns to wear one, too. After all, she's growing up: "I don't need a nightlight anymore, and I can pour my own glass of milk." Together, mother and daughter remember the occasions when Mama wore each sari. Finally, Mama relents, and the girl drapes herself in brilliant blue fabric. The Hindi phrases are clearly defined in an introductory glossary, making this both a good choice for Indian children seeking stories about themselves and a welcome introduction for kids of all backgrounds. The story's universal themes transcend cultural specifics, though. Many kids will relate to the little girl who uses grown-up outfits to try on grown-up identities, and Gomez's paintings, as richly colored and patterned as Indian cloth, show the love and closeness as mother and daughter remember the past and think about the future together. Pair this with Rao Sandhya's My Mother's Sari (2006). Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
The illustrations were beautiful and very colorful.
D.B.
Seeing her mother shimmer in a beautiful sari, the girl feels a stronger desire to look all grown-up like Mama.
P. Subramanian
Plus, by the end of the book, you'll both be wanting to try on a sari.
Mitali Perkins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By LonestarReader VINE VOICE on May 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Intrigued with the idea of acquiring some sari fabric, I visited a store in my metropolis that sells clothing and fabric from India. What an amazing experience!

Long rolls of fabric lined the walls. It was like a glittering, glowing shimmering color wheel. Initially, the best we could manage was, "um, how about...orange." We were faced with more patterns and shades of orange to red to yellow than we could take in. The sales woman cheerfully pulled down bolt after bolt and sent the rolls of fabric shooting across the large tables so we could see the amazing designs and hues.

We left with three lengths of color feeling dazzled and elated.

This memory was in my mind as I looked at Pooja Makhijani's new book, Mama's Saris. The little girl in the story is celebrating her seventh birthday and asks to wear one of her mother's saris. Thinking the girl is too young, the mother tries to negotiate the request with her daughter, "Why don't you wear your chaniya choli?"

Ultimately, she is moved by the strength of her daughter's memories of her different saris and acknowledges this special occasion by letting her daughter select one to wear.

The tender give and take between them is beautifully written.

Elena Gomez has caught the glow and shimmer of this elegant clothing in the backgrounds of the illustrations. The fabric fairly swirls off the page as the little girl looks at herself, in the mirror for the first time, dressed in a blue sari with gold bangles on her arm.

Beautiful!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Herold on June 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Mama's Saris" is Pooja Makhijani's first picture book and I'm happy to report it's a beauty.

The narrator of "Mama's Saris" is about to turn seven years old and Mama, who wears saris only for special occasions, is choosing what she will wear to her daughter's party. The daughter helps, but, really, all she wants is to wear a sari too:

"Mama unfurls it. It shines like the afternoon sun. I watch her tuck one end into her petticoat and pull the other end over her left shoulder. Then she folds the pleats, weaving the fabric into an accordion between her slim fingers.

I look down at my Mary Janes and corduroy jumper. I feel so plain next to her."

Finally, mama relents and helps her daughter dress in one of her saris, accented with gold bangles and a bindi. When she is dressed, the narrator looks in the mirror:

"I feel like I am floating in an ocean of blue. The shiny material makes me sparkle. I think it looks beautiful."

When mama asks, "what do you think?", the little girl answers, "I think I look like you."

It's a simple story on the surface of things, but the text speaks volumes about growing up, mother-and-daughter relationships, and family traditions. Elena Gomez' s warm, lush paintings fit Makhijani's text perfectly and bring the saris and mother and daughter to life. "Mama's Saris" is a lovely, heartfelt debut and not to be missed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I guess I never really realized that it was a universal instinct. You are born. You grow a little older. And then one day your raid your mother's closet, trying on her dresses, shoes, scarfs, and so on for the sole purpose of becoming, if only for a little while, older. I remember trying on my mom's wedding dress once, in all its frilly early 70s lace glory, and I was not a child usually prone to "playing dress up" as it were. Imagine then if you had a mother that wore clothes that had names like Zardosi, Banarasi, and Kalamkari. Pooja Makhijani has taken a very simple concept and has expanded it to encompass the whole wide world. With simple language and just the right words, she conveys better than anyone what it can mean to a daughter to find herself made into the image of her mom.

A small girl is about to celebrate her seventh birthday and you know what that means. Time for Mama to pull out the suitcase of saris she always stores carefully under her bed for special occasions. On this day in particular she lets her daughter pick out which sari to wear. Will it be the black chiffon one that "shimmers like the nighttime sky"? Or how about the blue with the gold flowers that dance along its border? No, nothing but the brilliant orange, "with edges that look like they have been dipped in red paint", worn on the day when our little girl was first brought home from the hospital will do. Only, it's not enough. The girl wants to finally wear a sari of her own, and this time, because it's her birthday, she's finally getting her wish. She is swathed in blue, bangled to match, and then in the final crowning touch is given the kiss of beautiful glittery bindi right in the center of her forehead. And when asked what she thinks, the kid answers in delight, "I think I look like you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Subramanian on April 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Mama's Saris by Pooja Makhijani is an eloquent and colorful presentation of a story that celebrates the beauty of saris, and the special role they play in an East Indian family. The story is a vivid portrayal of a conversation between a mother and her daughter around the daughter's desire to wear one of Mama's precious saris for her 7th birthday party. It is based on a simple fact common to most cultures - "little girls LOVE to play dress up in their moms' clothes, and discover in themselves the images of their mothers."

A little girl is celebrating her seventh birthday. And obviously, there is a party for which Mama is planning to wear a sari. The little girl has to help her mother decide which sari to wear for the party. When Mama flips open the suitcase filled with saris that she wears only for special occasions, the girl's excitement to wear one on herself naturally increases. They talk about the different occasions Mama wore each of her saris - a black chiffon one "that shimmers like the night-time sky" she wore for Devi Masi's annniversary; the magenta one with "a herd of galloping deer embroidered on it" is the one she wore when Nanima came to visit the first time. And so on and so forth....Finally, the little girl picks an orange one that Mama tells her she wore when the little girl was first brought home from the hospital. She watches her mama elegantly tie the sari, and "weave the fabric into an accordion between her slim fingers."

Seeing her mother shimmer in a beautiful sari, the girl feels a stronger desire to look all grown-up like Mama. And she explains to her Mama she wants to pick a sari for herself because she is a big girl who can "pour her own glass of milk in the morning without spilling and also, does not need the nightlight anymore.
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