by Pooja Makhijani, illustrated by Elena Gomez
As a little girl turns seven, she watches her mother unpack saris to wear to her birthday party. While helping her mother choose just the right one for the special day, she pleads to wear a sari herself. Knowing that young girls like her aren’t old enough for the lovely garments, she reflects on their beauty. But sometimes birthday girls get special treats, and in this case it is getting to dress up like mama. A sweet book universal in a daughter’s desire to be like her mother whether it's walking in her high heels or wearing her bindi. Reference is made to the mother’s every day working clothes, implying the that the story takes place outside of India. A helpful glossary makes the Hindi words accessible to all readers, while beautiful illustrations bring magic to the story.
What Can You Do with a Rebozo?
By Carmen Talfalla, illustrated by Amy Cordova
Bright, lively pictures show the many ways you can use a rebozo - a traditional Mexican woven shawl - from a cradle to a cape. It can be a place to cuddle with a grandma or wrap a sick puppy or hide a little brother. While on the surface it could be a tribute to a multipurpose item of clothing, it is really a view into a life with a multi-generational family. The ideas of using the rebozo are both practical and playful, combining the expected uses and the imaginative. The rhymes are a little labored, but the cultural portrayal is well-done and the feeling is fun. The book won the 2009 Pura Belpré Illustration Honor award.
By Chieri Uegaki, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
For the first day of school, Suki wants to wear the kimono that her grandmother gave her. It makes her feel special as she remembers their time together over the summer. Her older sisters disapprove of her decision, walking ahead of her. But Suki finds acceptance when she shares her memories of a Japanese festival, along with the dance, with her first grade class. Suki's independence shines through as a model of individuality with a touch of cultural and familial pride. The lovely illustrations in watercolor and ink bring life to this irrepressible girl.
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