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
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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 EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved