What Will You Be, Sara Mee?
by Kate Aver Avraham
Illustrated by Anne Sibley O'Brien
Published by Charlesbridge, 2010
On the morning of Korean American Sara Mee’s tol, or first birthday, her older brother Chong proudly helps her prepare for the big day. He eagerly awaits the toljabee, a game in which Sara Mee will be offered an array of objects; the one she chooses will prophesize her future. Chong chose a pen at his toljabee, meaning he will be a writer, and as party guests arrive family members hypothesize what Sara Mee might be: a captain, a chef, or even a musician. Illustrator Anne Sibley O’Brien colorfully displays the warmth of a loving family with realistic watercolor illustrations, and author Kate Aver Avraham incorporates Korean words into a childlike narrative that consistently exudes the excitement and anticipation of this cultural tradition. After Sara Mee makes her long-awaited selection, Chong helps his sister create a memento from the special day. Avraham’s personal experience celebrating her Korean American daughter’s tol adds tenderness and depth to this satisfying and informative narrative. (CF) ©2010 Cooperative Children’s Book Center