Monday, February 05, 2007

My Mother's Sari: By Sandhya Rao and Illustrated by Nina Sabnani

My Mother's Sari: North-South Books

The first thing you notice when you open this book is the use of a very interesting illustration style - on every page the illustrator, Nina Sabnani, has mixed photographs of real saris with paintings/drawings of little children playing with the saris, resulting in a visually appealing, vibrant artwork.

This picture book captures the different ways a child chooses to play with a sari - to explore, dream and play innocent games. For example, on one page, we see a little girl using her mother's sari as a hammock, and on another - a safe blanket for a nap; one using as a slide; another as a rope to climb; a little boy playing train around his mother's sari etc. etc..Here's a funny one - a little kid even wipes his nose on his mother's sari! :-)

This book is sure eye candy! We enjoyed the text, but, honestly I would have loved to see more text with the visuals. Reading it the first time with my 4 yr old, I felt, it's definitely one of those books that make you go Wow! - but, is that all - why did it have to end so fast? I thought, the text on each page should have been at least half the length of a sari, if not the whole length! :-)May be, the author kept the text simple in order to let the visuals do the talking, and thereby allowing the child to focus on the beauty and elegance of the different sari pictures, and imagine herself/himself in the visuals...It can serve as a great "read-it-yourself" book for kindergarteners and kids in early elementary grades.

Playful and fun, this book will capture the imagination of toddlers and preschoolers alike. My 4 yr old enjoyed the book. I could tell from the expression in her eyes - yet another neat book to add to my collection of books about India!

Oh, here's the icing - the end-cover actually demonstrates step-by-step instructions on how to wear a sari...A great window to Indian culture for children from everywhere, and great for my daughter's pretend play dress-up in Sari sessions- she actually uses a "Dupata" instead of a Sari - I don't think I would want to part with my Saris in order to encourage my little girl's fantasy plays - I guess most Moms would agree with me - we are very possessive of our Saris, aren't we?:-)


sathish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sathish said...

I have done that a lot when I was young - much to the dismay and anger of my mother -- "wipe my nose and face on her saree"

Also, I wonder about the spelling - I am used to the spelling saree; but, this book uses sari.. wonder if it is american version of the spelling??

ranjani.sathish said...

as a young girl I was always crazy about sarees and used to tie my mother's whenever I
could at home and admire myself in the mirror !! Even now I like to wear sarees whenever possible :-)

Anusha said...

I have picked up a similar book where a 4 year old uses a blankie for different things - it is so very pleasing to see the same theme extended to desi culture!! I am sure my kid can relate to a saree better than a blanket..need to get my hands on this :)

Anonymous said...

Neat. I'll keep an eye out for this. Another sari book coming out this spring is Mama's Saris, by Pooja Makhijani. The illustrations are lovely, as is the story.

Sari vs. saree - I think sari is certainly a more popular spelling in the US. It's also a Hebrew name, derived from Sara, interestingly.

Praba Ram said...

Hi all -

Thank you for all your wonderful comments on the book and review.

R& S - I know exactly what you mean...Sari is too short a spelling for a real saree, isn't it? (sorry! :-) )

@ - I would love to check out the blankie book that you've mentioned...!

LS - thank you for that neat explanation! Love your website and blog! Thanks for dropping by at ST often! Such a nice feeling to have authors/writers visit, and leave comments...a neat gratification! :-)

thanks all! will be back this week with another one! Stay tuned!


Anusha said...

@ - I would love to check out the blankie book that you've mentioned...!

Praba - here's the book I was talking about - I'm sure your daughters will enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

'just happened to stumble across this page while image-googling for 'Sarees'.
Sounds like a book I'd definitely love to read! as I simply love Sarees- even though I'm not a woman, I probably am more crazy about it than most of them today are! LOL!
While I could be happy jus looking at Sarees I guess, there's be nothing like it if I could find a life-partner who'd love to wear them always! And I'm sure I will!

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