Amma's Sari, by Sandhya Parappukkaran; Illustrated by Michele Pereira
This gorgeous picture book about parent-child connection, culture and identity, and learning to take pride in who you are, is just stunning and has already made its way to the top of my favourites list for picture books released in 2022.
In this book, young Shreya is enchanted by her Amma's silky saris, which evoke memories of love, adventure, and connection to the past. But when Shreya and Amma venture out into the streets, Shreya is anxious and self-conscious about the way everyone stares at the bright colours and flowing material of Amma's sari. She just wants to blend in and be like everybody else.
When Shreya loses sight of Amma in a crowd, she quickly realises that it's the soft silk and shimmer of Amma's sari that she longs for more than anything. Will Shreya learn to embrace the way she and her Amma are different?
This is such a beautifully crafted book. The writing simply sparkles, and I love the use of similes to depict the beauty of Amma's saris and the richness of the memories and connection to culture that they evoke. The gentle lilt and flow of the narrative, and it's lyricism, ensure this story is a joy to read aloud.
The illustrations are also exquisite, flowing around the text on the page just as Amma's sari flows out behind her as she walks. The colour palate used is perfect - the bright colours of the sari's contrasting with the earthier background tones of browns, reds and oranges.
This book beautifully shines a light on cultural diversity and acceptance, making it a perfect choice for school and home reading.
Published by Bright Light (Hardie Grant Kids)