Sona and the Wedding Game

illus. by Yoshiko Jaeggi. 32p. Peachtree. Apr. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781561457359. LC 2014006501.
K-Gr 3—Another strong collaboration from the pair who created My Dadima Wears a Sari (2007) and Monsoon Afternoon (2008, both Peachtree). Sona's grandparents and annoying cousin, Vishal, travel from India to America to attend the wedding of Sona's sister, which will be a Hindu ceremony. She is not familiar with the traditions, and know-it-all Vishal pesters her with his knowledge about the proceedings. Sona learns that, as the younger sibling of the bride, her job is to steal the groom's shoes during the ceremony and bargain with the young man before giving them back. Eventually she comes up with a plan for how to steal the shoes, but she has to team up with Vishal to pull it off. He wants her to ask for a million dollars to return them, but Sona has a different prize in mind, one that is satisfying and surprising. Sheth's semiautobiographical text is supported by an extensive author's note that talks about her inspiration for the story and further explains some of the wedding traditions depicted. Jaeggi's dreamy, watercolor illustrations show the hustle and bustle of the event without losing the intimate moments and complicated feelings involved. Readers will enjoy seeing a sumptuous wedding and learning about some of those traditions along with Sona.
VERDICT Overall, a fine addition to most collections.

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