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What Will You Be, Sara Mee?

by Kate Aver Avraham
Illustrated by Anne Sibley O'Brien

Published by Charlesbridge, 2010
32 pages
ISBN: 9781580892117

Ages 3-7

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

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