Can Sona be the best big sister ever when she's not sure she even wants a baby sister or brother? Brimming with warmth and charm, this story set in India will resonate with new older siblings everywhere.
Sona Sharma's house is full of three generations of people who joke often and argue sometimes. Relatives come over unannounced, the phone rings frequently, and friends drop by all the time. Then one day Amma tells Sona that she is going to have a baby. Is that good? Sona isn't so sure. She doesn't want to share her room or her things with a new baby, not to mention the attention of Amma, Appa, Thatha, and Paatti. And despite Amma's assurance that the sky always has room for new stars, Sona doesn't feel stretchy or bighearted like the sky. But when she learns there will be a baby-naming ceremony, she's determined to find the best name for her new brother or sister--one as nice as her own, a Hindi word for "gold." Perfectly pitched to young readers, this tale of warming up to change is followed by a glossary of words from India to explore in the story.
Gr 1-3--The tapestry of Sona's life is woven with the people of her vibrant, bustling multigenerational Indian family: her parents, Amma and Appa; her grandparents Thatha, Paatti, and the President; and her stuffed elephant, who is called, much to his chagrin, Elephant. Sona's life is about to change as her parents prepare to welcome a baby. And Sona, like many first-time older siblings, is feeling a variety of emotions. Will she have to leave her home and live with her maternal grandmother, the President, as Amma awaits the new baby? Will Sona be able to share her parents' love and attention with the baby? Can she come up with the perfect name for her new sibling's naming ceremony? The emotional journey of this soon-to-be big sister unfolds delicately, with the perfect balance of gravitas and humor. Young readers will be quickly absorbed in the character-driven plot and description of Hindu baby-welcoming ceremonies and customs. In a particularly touching scene, Amma assuages Sona's worries of being forgotten by comparing the family's love for Sona and her future sibling to the sky making space for the birth of a star. Khatun's linear illustrative style pairs well with the text, giving life to the lush foliage of India and the charming characters of Sona's family. VERDICT This chapter book's unique take on the familiar theme of welcoming a new baby is elevated by Soundar's exceptional characterization and Khatun's appealing art. A recommended purchase for school and public library collections.--Sarah Simpson, Westerville P.L., OHCopyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.