This book was part of the Notable list for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards – Picture Book
As a second-generation migrant, 6-year-old Shreya’s life tilts between her life at home and the outside world. While her love for family lifts her up, her spirits plummet at the stares and whispers that her mother’s sari attracts. Searching for balance, Shreya asks questions about her culture. But despite the beautiful stories her mother shares, Shreya’s internal and external struggle continues. But when Shreya finds herself lost in a crowd, it’s the shimmer of Amma’s sari that leads her to finding pride in her difference. Amma’s Sari is a powerful reflection on connection with family, the acceptance of difference, and the celebration of cultural heritage. Perfect for ages 3 and up. From the creators of The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name, winner of the 2022 Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Award for New Illustrator.
‘My saree is a memory of love.’
‘My saree is a memory of faraway places.’
Sari or Saree is a very special and beautiful Indian attire. If you aren’t familiar with sarees, here are some terms and details to get started:
Sari – A sari consists of one very long rectangle piece of fabric usually 5-9 yards in length that’s wrapped around the body and draped over a shoulder, and a blouse worn underneath. The style and fabric of a sari, as well as the way it’s worn, varies between different regions and traditions.
Pallu – the loose end of a saree generally draped over shoulder.
Pleats -when draping the sari, most of the fabric length is taken up in a series of pleats and then tucked in the waist skirt. The pleats allow for easier walking and give the garment its elegant gait.
The book ‘Amma’s Sari’ by Sandhya Parappukkaran is a beautiful story of a mother who loves to wear sarees wherever she goes. Her very curious little daughter Shreya tries to find the reason behind this love. They live somewhere in the Western countries; hence the sarees attract whispers, eyebrows and stares from everyone. This makes the girl feel embarrassed and anxious. She wishes to be free. She listens to her amma talk about her sarees. Amma’s childhood memories and her connection with family is precious, beautiful and exciting.
The book highlights Indian culture and heritage. It encourages everyone to celebrate the difference, appreciate own identity and respect each other.
I couldn’t stop reading this book. It’s written through the eyes of a little girl in simple language and beautifully illustrated manner. The drawing in each page tells a story. The pictures are colourful display of both Western and Indian culture. I spotted Indian festival food, spices, lamps, taxi, bulls, vendors, houses and flowers that reminded me of my hometown in India.
My favourite part is the bit when she was able to spot amma because of her saree. The story brought back memories of my mother. The author has beautifully used saree related phrases like “Amma pleating”, “tuck pallu into waist”, and “yards and yards of fabric burst out”. This book is amazing down to the last page. I would recommend it to all ages.