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Sona and the Wedding Game Hardcover – April 1, 2015
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Another strong collaboration from the pair who created My Dadima Wears a Sari (2007) and Monsoon Afternoon (2008, both Peachtree). Sona's grandparents and annoying cousin, Vishal, travel from India to America to attend the wedding of Sona's sister, which will be a Hindu ceremony. She is not familiar with the traditions, and know-it-all Vishal pesters her with his knowledge about the proceedings. Sona learns that, as the younger sibling of the bride, her job is to steal the groom's shoes during the ceremony and bargain with the young man before giving them back. Eventually she comes up with a plan for how to steal the shoes, but she has to team up with Vishal to pull it off. He wants her to ask for a million dollars to return them, but Sona has a different prize in mind, one that is satisfying and surprising. Sheth's semiautobiographical text is supported by an extensive author's note that talks about her inspiration for the story and further explains some of the wedding traditions depicted. Jaeggi's dreamy, watercolor illustrations show the hustle and bustle of the event without losing the intimate moments and complicated feelings involved. Readers will enjoy seeing a sumptuous wedding and learning about some of those traditions along with Sona. VERDICT Overall, a fine addition to most collections.—Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN
About the Author
One of Kashmira Sheth's earliest memories is of her aunt's wedding. Kashmira was four years old and she still cherishes the memory of the festivities in her grandparents house. Since then she has attended many weddings but, unlike Sona, has never successfully stolen a groom's shoes. She is the author of many acclaimed books, including Tiger in My Soup, My Dadima Wears a Sari, and Monsoon Afternoon. Sheth teaches at Pine Manor College, in their Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program.
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This is the story of a fictional Hindu wedding but is based on real-life weddings for some Hindus. I thought the tradition of stealing a groom's shoes was very different but the book explains the reason and it is all about family. In fact, the book makes it clear that every nuance of this kind of wedding is to bring two families closer together. I like that!
I was a bit disappointed at the end as her request was asked but then there was no conclusion it seemed. Maybe I missed that part and it could be because...
The few illustrations I was able to see were colorful and cute. Unfortunately, the copy I had on Kindle did not convey as well as I would have liked to have seen. In fact, I think they were missing altogether. I do not think that is the fault of the author but if it had been a child trying to read the book, it would have been disappointing.
The book is a nice glimpse into some of India's rich culture It is only a small part, but still yet still worth reading, especially if learning about India.
Disclosure: A Kindle copy of this book was obtained through NetGalley. All views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~MM. aka Naila Moon
Sona is excited to be a part of her sister's wedding, but when she is told that as a part of the ceremony she is supposed to steal the groom's shoes, she becomes uncertain about her role. But with the help of a mischievous cousin, she just might pull it off and bargain for something she wants to boot. The details of the wedding are smoothly integrated into the telling of the story making it flow really well. The detailed illustrations are fascinating and offer a glimpse into the work that goes into making the wedding such an amazing event. A fun, informative book about children being children within the traditions of their culture. I also thought it was an interesting note that Sona isn't completely familiar with the Indian wedding traditions because she's never been to one before. This reminds the reader that so much of what we consider culture is learned and that if it isn't taught it will in time be lost.
The rich colors and details of Yoshiko Jaeggi’s illustrations are delightful. I love the facial expressions, Sona’s big eyes, and the decorative gold frames separating small pictures on the same page. Children of all cultures will enjoy this book, especially if a traditional Indian wedding is in their future.