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Sugar in Milk

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  288 ratings  ·  66 reviews
When I first came to this country, I felt so alone. A young immigrant girl joins her aunt and uncle in a new country that is unfamiliar to her. She struggles with loneliness, with a fierce longing for the culture and familiarity of home, until one day, her aunt takes her on a walk. As the duo strolls through their city park, the girl's aunt begins to tell her an old myth, ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by Running Press Kids
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Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  288 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s an old saying that states that if you told a childless person everything parenthood entails they’d never sign up in the first place. I’m not talking about the big things like guiding them on a true moral and/or spiritual path. I’m not even talking about the little things like changing diapers. I’m talking about the esoteric, nebulous, gray area things. The ideas and concepts and problems that are so vast and complicated that simplifying them for children can feel kind of like cheating. Take ...more
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful message with beautiful artwork.
Gabrielle Stoller
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh what a GOREGEOUS book. Seriously, the illustrations of this story are amazing. They will be ineligible due to its first being published in a different language first. Which is a crying shame (and an issue I do have with Caldecott). But this book is an excellent way to share how important it is to have your culture to be a melting pot. Even when we don't think there is room....people can bring sweetness to our lives that would otherwise be missing!

And I loved reading this book at the holidays
Abby Johnson
This is a really beautiful picture book based on a Persian legend about immigrants. From the rich, beautiful illustrations to the sweet message of the story, this is a book worth sharing.
A lovely story of immigration and assimilation with gorgeous illustrations. When a young girl struggles to adjust to her new home, her aunt tells her the folktale (legend?) of Zoroastrians convincing an Indian king to let them immigrate. I worry a bit that the text burdens a child with her happiness and integration to her new community. She misses home and her parents -- can't she still miss her home and parents while sweetening America?

First picture book I've seen that references Zoroastrianism
Alex  Baugh
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
A young girl emigrates from India to New York by herself to live with her aunt and uncle. They try their best to make her feel at home, but she's still sad, missing her family, her friends, and her cats. One day, her aunt takes her for a walk and tell her a story about a group of people who were forced to leave their homes in Persia and find refuge elsewhere. Arriving at an Indian kingdom, the king tell them they are not welcome, his land is already too crowded and the refugees "look foreign and ...more
Edward Sullivan
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautifully lush illustration in this story about an immigrant girl joining her aunt and uncle in a new unfamiliar country where she struggles with loneliness and homesickness. I wish there were some contextual note giving some background on the Persian legend Auntie relates.
Nov 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Very pretty illustrations.
FM Family
The illustrations in this book are BEAUTIFUL. And i thought it did a great job of showing people who are migrants without getting into acute suffering or cruelty. As someone who is critical of the US i felt like the final bookend was a bit too YAY AMERICA IS A GREAT PLACE. But I loved the core story and the idea of sugar in milk, as well as the idea of a grouchy king who is so tickled by the way the sugar in milk concept is presented that he's like alright, come on in! But I got it for my three ...more
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best children's book read in 2020. A young girl comes to live with family in a new land. She misses her old life, especially her cats. It just isn't the same no matter how Auntie and Uncle try. Until one day Auntie tells her story about the Persians who seek a new home in India but they are not met with open arms. What happens next? The illustrations are beautiful and fit very well in the story.

Highly recommend!
Jackie Brewer
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful book. Illustrations are amazing and the message is perfect.
Sandy Brehl
This is a breathtakingly gorgeous book in which the text/story is rich and important, while the distinctly appealing, detailed, and expansive illustrations invite close examinations and also frequent rereads. Select repetitive language underscores the global and timeless message of the story-within-a story, variations on "You speak a strange and different language we do not understand", yet everyone understands laughter, smiles, and hugs.
The "lesson" of the internal traditional story of sugar in
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

What a wonderful and important book. And I’m not saying this because I myself am a two-time immigrant (even though this gives me a particular perspective when reading Sugar in Milk). I believe it’s important because of the current state the world is in, something that was emphasized a little more in the media before COVID hit–counties and individuals’ sentiment toward immigrants and refugees. I believe that
Viviane Elbee
This book is full of breathtaking illustrations, and there's actually two stories - the main story, of a young immigrant who is struggling to adapt to her new country, and a myth that her aunt tells her about Persian immigrants who moved to India a long time ago.
I loved how the Persian immigrants let the Indian king know that they could be like "sugar in milk" who will "sweeten your lives with our presence."
This is a great book to discuss immigration with children. As there are two stories in
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a gorgeous book with a beautiful lesson. This book will be like a warm hug for children who have moved countries for whatever reason (especially refugees), and it is an incredibly positive sentiment to naturalize in children who are not immigrants. The illustrations are breathtakingly beautiful, with a nice amount of detail to please the eye without overwhelming the focus of the story. Really excellent.

Highly recommended for children ages 4+. Could be very popular with any child who has ev
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A wonderful book to share with third-culture kids. I especially loved the story within the story, so lusciously illustrated in a Persian style to fit the tale. One small quibble: I wish it hadn't specified that the narrator's "new and magical homeland" was America. Without specifying the new country, it would work much better in global settings, to be used with anyone who has moved to a new land! ...more
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The narrator moves to a new country and feels lost. Her aunt shares the story of people from Persia who had to flee their homeland. They arrived in India and were refused entry until a wise man showed the king how sugar mixes with milk and denies the glass is full analogy.
She learns that attitude can make a huge difference in how she sees the world around her. An excellent reminder of how much we can learn from each other and how blessed we can be to celebrate a wide variety of cultures.
Joan Marie
Umrigar pens a beautiful story around an old Persian legend in which change, courage, kindness, acceptance, all play apart in an immigrant's adjusting to life in a new country. According to the legend, if it's possible to add a spoonful of sugar to a full cup of milk without spilling any of the milk then it's possible for a crowded country to take in immigrants needing a home. "And just like sugar in milk, we will sweeten your lives with our presence."
When a young girl, new to America misses her family and old friends she left behind in India she feels alone and unable to make new friends. Her aunt tells her an ancient Persian legend. The parable reveals how total strangers found a way to come to an understanding, and learned to live amongst each other, although they were different.
Annamarie Carlson (she, her)
A young girl feels lonely after she moves to the United States, leaving her family behind. Her new guardians help her look at her new home with fresh eyes through the legend of a Persian leader who travels to the shores of India looking for shelter.

A great story, told with particularly engaging detailing in the art on the pages telling the Persian legend (as well as the endpapers!).
A young girl has immigrated to America to live with her aunt and uncle. At first, she does not feel like she belongs in the US, but after a walk with her Aunt, who tells a story about the Persians seeking refuge in India, the girl learns to spread sweetness wherever she goes.

A beautifully illustrated story about immigration and finding a home.
Sarah Hanson
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“All people speak the language of laughter.”
With beautiful illustrations, simple language, and a historic tale, a story is woven to teach the experience of becoming a bigger part of a new culture. The sweetness of this message is well-supported with the structure and I look forward to sharing this book with my students.
Rachel Grover
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Loved it. The illustrations are stunning, and the story of the ancient Persian king and the unwanted visitors parallels nicely to today's refugees. Worthy of any school library collection. Looking forward to purchasing for my MS library. ...more
Kristine Hope Kowalski
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I won a copy of this beautiful book through an Instagram giveaway from Running Press Kids. I'm so thankful, because I may not have found this work otherwise, and I'm thrilled to have it in my family's collection. The illustrations are just exquisite, and the book feels so welcoming and accepting. ...more
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beautiful in its simple yet powerful storytelling, with detailed and luscious illustrations. A gentle reflection of how opening one's heart and mind to the world around them can make the biggest personal difference. ...more
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Khoa Le’s illustrations are breathtaking. This is one I’d love to keep on my shelf just to gaze at the landscapes from time to time - especially the bridge! - and all the details in the patterns and on the animals. Le is an illustrator I’m looking forward to seeing more work by.
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A young immigrant girl is living with her aunt and uncle. She is lonely and sad for her far away home. Her aunt tells her an absolutely beautiful story about other refugees and how they found acceptance in a new country. This book is just gorgeous.
Allie Outhouse
Dec 09, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jo Oehrlein
Dec 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
A story within a story about an immigrant today and groups of immigrants in the past.

I like the part about adding sugar to a glass of full milk -- there should always be room for those who sweeten life.
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A journalist for seventeen years, Thrity Umrigar has written for the Washington Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and other national newspapers, and contributes regularly to the Boston Globe's book pages. Thrity is the winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize, a Lambda Literary award and the Seth Rosenberg prize. She teaches creative writing and literature at Case Western Reserve University. The author ...more

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