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Excerpt

My Dadima Wears a Sari

by Kashmira Sheth
illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi

An Indian grandmother and her American granddaughter explore culture, imagination, and individuality through a sari. An #OwnVoices story from Kashmira Sheth.

“A strong depiction of family, this story shows how meaningful traditional clothing can be.” ―Kirkus Reviews

Every day, Rupa’s grandmother wears a beautiful Indian sari. Each is brightly colored and very pretty. “Don’t you ever want to wear a gray skirt and red blouse with round buttons like Mommy or a green dress like me?” Rupa asks. But Dadima prefers to wear her traditional saris.

Dadima shares all the wonderful things that saris can do—from becoming an umbrella in a rainstorm to providing a deep pouch to carry seashells. Soon Rupa’s own imagination is sparked as she envisions saris protecting her in the scary Gir Jungle, bandaging up an injured knee, and holding a special secret for her and Dadima to share.

Kashmira Sheth provides a warm, unique peek into Indian culture in this sensitive portrait of a grandmother and her American granddaughter. Hindu words defined and sprinkled throughout the text further add to the story’s authenticity. Yoshiko Jaeggi’s sweeping, colorful, and fanciful watercolor illustrations capture the extraordinary bond of love that unites families across generations and cultures. A note from the author and instructions for wrapping a sari are included.

Awards:

Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education
CCBC Choices (Picture Books for School-Age Children) ―Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―National Council for the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council
Georgia Children’s Picture Storybook Award (Nominee) ―University of Georgia

Also by Kashmira Sheth:
Feast of Peas
Monsoon Afternoon
Sona and the Wedding Game
Tiger in My Soup

Format: Hardcover
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-392-4
Publication Date: 3/1/2007
Page Count: 32
Size: 10-5/8″ x 9-7/8″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
AR Level: 3.5
F&P: GRL M, Gr 2, Genre RF
Lexile: AD600L
Themes: Culture, Intergenerational Relationship, Traditions

Reviews

“A strong depiction of family, this story shows how meaningful traditional clothing can be.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“The continuous, loving exchange heightens the intergenerational warmth that’s extended in Jaeggi’s delicate watercolors, particularly in scenes of Dadima and the girls unfurling luxurious lengths of cloth. Young listeners will want to follow the appended, illustrated instructions demonstrating how to wrap a sari.” ―Booklist

“Soft watercolor paintings capture the magnificent fabrics of Dadima’s saris and accentuate this loving story of a grandmother and her two granddaughters.” ―School Library Journal

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“A treasure” ―New York Amsterdam News

“The book is full of familial love as the grandmother passes on traditions and memories. It also includes a glossary to identify some Hindi words used in the text and a step-by-step guide to putting on a sari properly” ―Read Write Repeat

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Awards

Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2008

CCBC Choices (Picture Books for School-Age Children) ―Cooperative Children’s Book Center, 2008

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―National Council for the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council, 2008

Georgia Children’s Picture Storybook Award (Nominee) ―University of Georgia, 2009-2010

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Meet the Author

Kashmira Sheth2

Kashmira Sheth was born in India with Guajarati as her mother tongue, and began learning English in fifth grade. She had lived in Bhavnagar and Mumbai before moving to United States when she was seventeen to attend Iowa State University, where she received a BS in microbiology. Before becoming an author Kashmira had many different jobs, including running a dance school and choreographing and performing Indian dances, working in a bakery, and working as a food microbiologist. She is the author of several picture books, chapter books, and middle grade and young adult novels. Taking inspiration from her own life and experiences, much of Kashmira’s work centers on Indian culture and features Indian and Indian-American characters. You can visit  her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Yoshiko Jaeggi was trained in her native Japan at the Osaka Municipal Institute of Fine Art and has illustrated several children’s books. She lives in Maryland. You can visit her website here.