How to Wear a Sari

by Darshana Khiani (Author) Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Sparkling with voice and charm, this picture book about a fashionable kid out to prove she's not as small as everyone thinks is perfect for kids eager to grow up, and for those who love to play dress-up.

Being a little kid isn't always fun and games. Sometimes, it's downright annoying.

When a little girl tires of being treated like she's TOO little, she sets out to prove to her family that she can do ANYTHING she puts her mind to . . .

. . . including putting on a colorful, twinkly, silky sari. Sure, they're long and unwieldy--but that only means her family will be even more impressed when she puts it on all by herself.

Naturally, there are some hiccups along the way, but she discovers that she's not the only one in her family who has set out with something to prove, with hilariously chaotic results. That's what photo albums are for!


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Publishers Weekly

Simple, multi-patterned line art drawings in a lively color palette by Lew-Vriethoff pilot young readers through Khiani's winning guide to sari-wearing. Using the second-person perspective, the book opens with a line that will likely resonate with any reader: "Are you tired of being treated like a little kid?" The solution, the narrator opines, is to don a "colorful, twinkly, silky sari." A light brown-skinned child with two dark pigtails visualizes each step of the process, from selecting a sari to properly pleating, draping, and accessorizing. A comedic late-act surprise concludes the how-to. Some lines feel slightly unrelatable ("They'll stop to take photos, consult you for tips, and maybe even give you a contract"), but this picture book offers an enjoyable behind-the-scenes look at a South Asian staple. Ages 4-8. (June)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Fumbling with knitting needles, spilling garbage from a torn trash bag-an unnamed, aggravated young girl with brown skin and brown hair is feeling too small and inadequate for grown-up tasks. She wants to prove her maturity to her family. Inspiration strikes, although a bit out of the blue. Why not arrive at her family's party wearing one of her mother's elegant saris? After choosing the perfect green and yellow sari-not too plain, not too fancy, with the right amount of sparkle-the persistent young narrator demonstrates the step-by-step process of donning a sari. Readers learn that a blouse and petticoat are worn underneath and how to correctly tuck, wrap, and pleat the sari. The look is polished with a stylish brooch, jewelry, and sparkly sandals. Now the challenge will be to walk in those high-heeled sandals to show off her sophisticated outfit at her family gathering. Unsteady and wobbly, the young girl trips, sending food flying across a multigenerational family. On the bright side, the girl can now contribute a hilarious moment to the family's mishap hall of fame. Khiani's lighthearted, debut picture book is insightful for young readers unfamiliar with saris, relatable for accustomed readers, and despite feeling choppy and underwhelming in the conclusion, will entertain children. Lew-Vriethoff's illustrations are lively and fluid, appropriately matching the flowing movement of saris. VERDICT A welcomed, playful addition to a small selection of picture books available on this traditional attire.

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Simple, multi-patterned line art drawings in a lively color palette by Lew-Vriethoff pilot young readers through Khiani's winning guide to sari-wearing...an enjoyable behind-the-scenes look at a South Asian staple."—Publishers Weekly
Darshana Khiani
Darshana Khiani is a second-generation Indian American who grew up in rural Pennsylvania. How to Wear a Sari is her debut picture book. Darshana now resides with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Joanne Lew-Vriethoff is the acclaimed illustrator of many children's books including the new edition of The Invisible String and The Invisible String Workbook, as well as Darshana Khiani's How to Wear a Sari. She grew up in Los Angeles, studied at the Art Center College of Pasadena, and now divides her time between Amsterdam and Malaysia. www.joannelewvriethoff.com, Instagram: @joannelewvriethoff, Twitter: @jlewvriethoff

Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781328635204
Lexile Measure
N/A
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publication date
June 20, 2021
Series
-
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, 06/01/21

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