Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Beautiful Saris

Mama’s Saris
By Pooja Makhijani
Illustrated by Elena Gomez
Little Brown & Co., 2007

The new book area of the children’s section of the library is where you can usually find me. I found this book, Mama’s Saris, just by browsing. I love reading books about children from Asia, so this one really caught my eye.

The main character is a seven year old girl. The book is set on her 7th birthday and her mother is going through her saris to find one to wear. The mother only wears them on special occasions, unlike the grandmother, who wears them all the time. The mother and daughter talk about each sari one by one and mother shares special memories of when she wore each one. It’s a scrapbook of special events through these beautiful pieces of clothing.

The young girl begs her mother to let her wear a sari for her birthday. Mother keeps telling her no and suggests she wear her chaniya choli, a child’s traditional outfit. The little girl wants so much to be grown up and wear her mother’s sari. Finally the mother gives in and lets her try on a sari, bangles, and a bindi.

The paintings in this book are absolutely stunning. The details in the patterns of the saris are exquisite. I think the paintings themselves draw you right into the book.
This book has also been nominated for the Cybils this year.

Just One More Book Podcast about this book.

My Mother’s Sari
By Sandya Rao
Illustrated by Nina Sabnani
NorthSouth Books, 2006

This book really caught my eye because I had already read Mama’s Saris, but I knew it wasn’t the same book I had read earlier. So I checked it out. This book was first published in India before it was published internationally.

The idea is similar to Mama’s Saris, but this text is much simpler. The young girl’s connection with the mother’s saris is very endearing. The little girl is comforted by her mother’s saris. The illustrations show her wrapped up in one, like she is hiding, dancing among several saris, and playing in them.

The illustrations have simple cut outs of the child in the story reveling amongst the textured cloth, which appears to be photographs of actual saris. The little girl in the story seems to be much younger than in Mama’s Saris. She doesn’t express a desire to wear a sari, just be comforted by her mother’s saris much like a young child would be comforted by a blanket.

No comments: