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What Will You Be, Sara Mee? by Kate Aver…

What Will You Be, Sara Mee?

by Kate Aver Avraham

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Although this was not my favorite book, there were 2 main reasons why I liked it. One reason why I liked it was because the author incorporated differences between Korea and America. The family lives in America now, but still follows some culture from Korea. For example, the family plays a game called Toljabee where they guess what the child will be when he or she grows up. The mother says, “Girls can be anything in America.” This is really important because it shows how in some other countries girls do not have the same freedom. Another reason why I liked this book was because it was bilingual. While reading this, it was great to see foreign words and the meanings for the words. This opens a new perspective. The essential message in this story is that women can be whatever they want to be in America. It shows how this is not the case in every country. It is important for children to understand these concepts. ( )
  Leahsvat | Sep 24, 2017 |
I loved this book for several reasons! First, the cover absolutely grabbed my attention (mainly because I love babies). The adorable baby that was on the cover along with the title of “What Will You Be, Sara Mee?” immediately had me interested and thinking about the storyline of the book that most likely had something to do with what the baby would be when she grew up. When I started to read, I was overjoyed with warmth as the first couple of pages gave a wonderful picture and description of a loving family. For example, the speaker of the book, who is Sara Mee’s brother, said, “He (the father/Aboji) picks up my sister and swings her high over his head. ‘Here’s my birthday girl!’ he says, and kisses her round-as-the-moon face.” The illustrations that went along with this plot were warm and friendly as there were smiles on all of the characters faces. Each page had warm colors and Korean custom objects that really engaged the reader to get a feel for their culture. Throughout the book, the brother asks what his sister will choose to be on her first birthday based on a specific item she chooses out of a variety of them. This traditional Korean prophecy game, called the toljabee, predicts what Sara Mee will be when she grows up. What I loved most about this book is that the family stressed that she could be anything she wanted to be. This is such a wonderful lesson to teach children – that they have complete control over their own lives, with our (friends and family’s) help and guidance whenever they need it. ( )
  ChristySchultz | Mar 3, 2017 |
Sara Mee, one of the main characters of the story, is turning one. In the Korean culture when a child is turning one they have a tol, or a first-birthday celebration. Friends and family bring food and presents to celebrate the child. During the tol, a traditional prophecy game known as toljabee is played. Various items are placed in front of the child and whichever the child picks predicts what the child will be when he or she grows up. Each of Sara Mee’s family members brings items and eventually Sara Mee chooses a symbolic paintbrush. When I chose this book I did not expect I would enjoy it so much – everything about the book was intriguing. I loved the detailed pictures, definitions of different Korean words, and it gave me insight to a culture I really know nothing about. Chong, Sara Mee’s brother, narrates the book. I thought this was an interesting perspective because he is now old enough to understand the excitement behind the tol, but can also relate because just five years ago, he chose his future. The author’s excellent usage of simple terms makes this an easy read for young children. Not only is it a simple read, the book highlights the importance of family and keeping various traditions alive. ( )
  sameentaj | Feb 10, 2017 |
In my opinion, this is an excellent book for children to read. First, the story was written in first person point of view, in which the narrator was a young boy. For example, the narrator says, "I didn't cry like that at my tol, Mee Mee...". Here the narrator is relating himself in a personal way to the main plot of the story. With being younger, I believe children will be able to easily relate and comprehend what is being said throughout the book. Another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed was the language; with the narrator being young, the words were not too difficult for a younger audience to understand. But also, actual Korean words such as, "aboji" and "halmoni" were used as well which gives good background information on where the characters are from. Not only does this help the story line, but kids reading this book can gain new knowledge on words they might have not known. Overall, the big idea of this book is to give insight on Korean traditions and even potentially appeal to bilingual readers. ( )
  cdovel1 | Sep 11, 2016 |
I loved this book and thought it had a good storyline that teaches about a different culture. The book is about a Korean family. The book is told from the perspective of the little boy. His little sister is having a birthday party and he is so excited for her and to see all of his family. They play a game and lay things out in front of the birthday girl, Mee. Whatever she picks up is connected to her future. I liked this because it taught about a different culture’s traditions. When all of the family finally arrives, they try to guess what Mee will become. For example, her aunt was feeding her and predicted that she will become a cook. Her uncle predicted that she would become a musician like him. Finally, when it comes time to play the game, Mee goes for the paintbrush. Everyone is excited just thinking about Mee becoming an artist. I liked the illustrations because they helped to develop the characters. For example, Mee’s dad picks her up and holds her up in the air. In this picture, you can see the relationship that they have by their eye contact and the happy look on Mee’s face. I also liked the illustrations from the party because it shows how close their family is and how happy they are that they could all be together. My favorite part of this book was how it incorporated some words in Korean. It would say the English word and then in bold it said the Korean word. For example, the boy said, “its called tol,” referring to the birthday party they were having. Another example was the word “toljabee,” which was the name for the game Mee played. Also, the boy said, “we wished her a happy birthday, saengirul chookahe.” It was cool to see another language and it was easy to match the English word with the Korean word. On top of this, the back of the book had a glossary with all of the Korean words, which was an awesome feature to include. The main idea of the book is about family and traditions. ( )
  KylieWilliams | Feb 28, 2016 |
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At her Tol, the first birthday party, Sara Mee plays the traditional Korean prophecy game--Toljabee--while her extended family and friends watch.

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2 editions of this book were published by Charlesbridge.

Editions: 1580892116, 1580892108

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