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Mama's Saris

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  49 reviews
When a young girl eyes her mother's suitcase full of gorgeous silk, cotton and embroidered saris, she decides that she, too, should wear one, even though she is too young for such clothing. When the mother finally realizes how important it is for her little girl to feel like a big girl on her seventh birthday, she dresses up her daughter in the folds of a blue sari. Feelin ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Little, Brown Young Readers
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  184 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Mar 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
I liked the concept of this book more than the execution--a few times the storytelling fell a bit flat and some of the illustrations were more compelling than others--but I still think it's a great story for showing the similarities between kids of different cultures. I think most girls can relate to wanting to dress-up like Mommy (or Grandma or some other grown-up) and longing for the day when she could wear grown-up clothes for real, not just some old out-dated stuff that Mom could have given ...more
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: grade school children
Great book. It would be enjoyed by children in grades 2 through 4.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Gorgeous illustrations highlight this heartwarming story about a mother and daughter who are getting dressed for the little girl's birthday party. The narrative is simple, although some of the names are a little hard. I appreciated the author's note at the beginning of the story as well as the Hindi pronunciation guide (I discovered that I'd said bindi and Diwali wrong all this time, using a "d" sound instead of a "th" sound.) I love the last page as the mother's and daughter's faces are next to ...more
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Many girls and mothers will enjoy this book. The young girl in the story admires her mother’s saris, traditional Indian dresses. Her mother has many saris in different styles, textures, and colors—each one has a different story. The mother only wears saris on special occasions and this adds to the girl’s admiration. In the story, it is the girl’s seventh birthday and she begs and pleads until her mother allows her to wear a sari to her birthday party. The bright, warm illustrations compliment th ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This story is about more than just colorful Indian clothing. It's also about the relationship between a mother and daughter. Mama shares memories with her daughter as she takes each sari out of her suitcase. I appreciated the Hindi glossary and author's note about saris in the front of the book, but I wish Makhijani had also included a diagram or some description about how you put a sari on. I've always wondered about that. I loved the colorful illustrations, except for one thing--the girl looke ...more
Blessy Mathew
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
This story is set in an Indian culture and captures a girl’s desire to dress up in her mother’s beautiful saris and to feel grown-up. Being it is her daughter’s seventh birthday, the mother finally gives in and wraps her daughter in a traditional sari. The language and dialogue make it a believable story. It certainly has universal appeal. Gomez’s colorful paintings show the rich Indian culture, giving it a realistic touch.
A young girl wonders why she can't wear a sari like her mother. Today is her birthday and she wants to look like a grown-up, even though she's only 7. She is mesmerized by her mother's saris as they come out of the suitcase they're kept in. All the colors! And each one marks a special occasion.

Finally, her mother relents and let's her choose a beautiful blue and gold sari to wear for her birthday. She has to stand very still so her mother can wrap and wrap and fold the many yards of fabric in a
Katie Logonauts
This story features an Indian-American girl (implicit) admiring and playing dress-up with her mother's saris. This is a lovely introduction to Indian clothing and traditions that would make any girl want a sari to dress up in.
Deb Carter
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A young child eagerness to grow up is displayed beautiful in this book about a Mather and daughter and the traditions of their clothing
Mrs. Ruigrok
This was a beautiful story about a young girl watching her mother who desperately wants to wear a sari too. She remembers the special occasion when each sari was worn and manages to convince her mother to let her wear a sari for the first time. A beautiful story with beautiful/colorful illustrations.
Shivanee Ramlochan
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Excerpted from a Charting Children's Literature post:

This tale first came to me in my early twenties.

A young girl wants to celebrate her seventh birthday party in the finest style possible, and for her, this means the right to wear one of her mother’s intricate saris. As her mother produces the infrequently worn, much-treasured collection from its storage space beneath the bed, her daughter pleads, cajoles and sulks, seemingly to no avail. Each sari the mother holds up from the leather suitcase
Abriana Chamberlain
Oct 06, 2014 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed Mama's Saris. I was a bit confused at first but then when you keep reading and realize that a Sari is the outfits that they were on special occasions. The daughter is helping her Mom get ready for her birthday party. She helps her decide which Sari she is going to wear. Mama then starts looking through all of the Sari's she has worn over the years, and her daughter remembers each one for every occasion. The daughter asks since its her birthday if she could wear one for today. He ...more
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: clothing
This fictional story tells about a little girl [turning seven years old] who is fascinated with her mother’s beautiful saris and wants to wear it on her birthday. The author Pooja Makhijani identifies with Indians as a cultural group. This text could be a little challenging if a person wants to read this text to early childhood students. I believe this story was suppose to appeal to a mature audience. This narrative puts emphasis on Indian women and why they wear saris’ in their culture, which i ...more
Mama's Saris by Pooja Makhijani, illustrated by Elena Gomez, is the story of a girl who wants to wear a sari for her seventh birthday so that she will look like her mother.

Gomez' colorful, beautiful illustrations were done in acrylics. My favorite illustrations are cover, Grandmother, eggplant, galloping deer, and last two images.

I appreciated that the author's note and pronunciation guide for seven words was at the front of the book, allowing readers to better read and understand the story. My
Jasmine Robinson
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parents
This nonfiction story was about a little girl fascinated with her mother's clothes. The mother cherished her little girl who couldn’t wait to grow up. The mother is getting dressed for the daughter's birthday party and she is wearing a Sari because she only wears them on special occasions. It is the daughter's 7th birthday and she would like to wear a Sari because she wanted to feel beautiful like her mommy. However, the mother did not think she was old enough. The daughter kept asking and askin ...more
Johna Brown
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ohana
This nonfiction story was about a little girl fascinated with her mother's clothes. The mother cherished her little girl who couldn’t wait to grow up. The mother is getting dressed for the daughter's birthday party and she is wearing a Sari because she only wears them on special occasions. It is the daughter's 7th birthday and she would like to wear a Sari because she wanted to feel beautiful like her mommy. However, the mother did not think she was old enough. The daughter kept asking and askin ...more
Jennifer Kim
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
The book, “Mama’s Saris” is a captivating fictional story about an East Indian American young girl and her mother’s clothing. The curious young girl pleads with her mother to explore her “fancy clothes,” or saris, in honor of her seventh birthday. She explores the different types of saris (Baluchari, Banarasi, and Kalamkari) that come in a variety of colors, and try to emulate everything she sees her mother doing. I would use this book to expose my students to the East Indian culture along with ...more
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Mama's saris' is a very interesting book which reminds most of the Indians about their festive season or their culture. This book can be used in elementary level for discussion about different types of clothes people wear in India and women wear sari's. The book is very colorful and has detail text which weaves you into the story. This story is about a young girl who watches her mom suitcase which has lots of saris and she desires to dress up like her mom. On her birthday, her mom dresses her u ...more
Chandler Cash
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
I really enjoyed this book and found its content to be enriching and the language used was very good. The Author Pooja Makhijani uses hindi words throughout the story which I thought was an amazing addiction, it gave another aspect of this culture then what is seen on the surface. Overall it was just a simple sweet book that was able to meet its goal.

For a classroom use I think this book would be a great addition for story time or for students to read on their own. It gives another element to u
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-fiction
A sweet story about a seven year old birthday girl and her fascination with her mother's saris. She remembers in vivid and colorful detail the events where her mother wore each sari, except for one. As she recalls each sari and each special event, she begs her mother to let her wear one of the colorful fabrics to celebrate her own special occasion, her birthday.

This story is simple to read and understand for young readers, and includes an array of color related words and adjectives. The book inc
Michael Alumbaugh
Nov 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Gomez used a lot vibrant colors while illustrating this book. I think that she did a good job of capturing what the author was trying to get across when she was describing the different saris. The text of the book was very easy flowing, and the story was easy to follow. Makhijani had a couple of easy sentences on each page, but not to few to were it seemed to easy. I would use this book in social studies when describing different cultures
Cheriee Weichel
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another oh so beautiful book. A young girl is hanging out with her mother as she gets dressed in a sari for a special occasion, the girl's birthday. As they goes through the collection of saris, they reminisce about the events associated with each one. Like most young girls, the child wants to be grown up like her mother. It would pair up beautifully with Deep in the Sahara, a tale about a young girl who wants to wear the malafa. Both are visually stunning books.
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book highlights a young girl who begs her mom to let her wear a sari on her 7th birthday since she is so "grown up". We read this just a few days after my own daughter turned 7. She loves to dress up in my shoes, especially, and sometimes my clothes. We really enjoyed the illustrations, and my girls had lots of questions about the saris (I don't think they've ever seen one) and the bindi. I appreciated the glossary/author's note at the end.
Sep 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Wrapped in crimson, green and gold, this warmly worded and richly illustrated account of motherly love shares a glimpse of the caring and compromise that can make minutes meaningful.

Other books mentioned:

* Bintou's Braids

Listen to our chat about this book on our Children's Book Podcast:

I recommend this book from children ages 4-9. I do recommend this book for many girls and parents that looks up to their mom and loves to dress up with their moms clothes.This is a good book for readers to understand about relationships between a mother an daughter. Also if readers like to learn about different culture and tradition this is a good book to read.This book is good for young readers to understand and enjoy the illustrations.

Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is about a girl who loves her mama's saris. Her mama tells her stories about when she wore the saris and the girl hope to wear one. In the end mama dresses her daughter in a Sari. It is sweet book about the relationship between a mom and daughter.

Relationship Study- Family- multicultural
Rachel Richardson
Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I like this book for how it presents culture with intelligence, respect, and without commentary. It's refreshing to have a children's book show so much culture without pointing out that it is doing so.
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved this tale of a girl who loves watching her mama take out her special saris, and begs her mother to let her wear one for her birthday. Gorgeous illustrations (though I agree with other reviewers that the girl looks to be about 9 or 10 rather than 7) really bring the tale to life. Sweet ending.
Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: india and mother picture book requests
Recommended to June by: Goodreads Childrens Book Group
Shelves: mothers, picture-book
I enjoyed the story and the universal theme of dressing up like mama. However, the story didn't grab me and the illustrations seemed more poised. Maybe it's just me. I was never one for dressing up.
Jennifer Rummel
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
a sweet book about a little girl wanting to grow up and be like her mother - and wear saris. The illustrations are lovely - a perfect book to share.
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I am the editor of Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America (Seal Press), an anthology of essays by women that explores the complex ways in which race shapes American lives and families. I am also the author of Mama’s Saris (Little Brown Books for Young Readers), a picture book.

My bylines have appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Washington Post, NPR, Real Simple, The
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