My Dadima wears a Sari

Publisher: Peachtree; (2007)

My Dadima Wears a Sari by Kashmira Sheth

Every day, Rupa's Grandmother wears a beautiful sari. Dadima wears her saris around the house and around the town. Some are made of cotton and some are made of fine silk. Each is brightly colored and very beautiful. Don't you ever want to wear a gray skirt and red blouse with round buttons like Mommy or a green dress like me? Rupa asks. But Dadima prefers to wear her traditional saris. She shares with her young granddaughter all the wonderful things that saris can do - from becoming an umbrella in a rainstorm to providing a deep pouch to carry seashells collected from the beach. Soon Rupa's own imagination is sparked as she envisions saris protecting her in the scary Gir jungle, bandaging up an injured knee, and holding a special secret for her and Dadima to share.

Hear how Kashmira pronouces her characters' names


Visit Yoshiko Jaeggi's website the illustrator of this book.


San Francisco Chronicle April 29, 2007: Jaeggi’s pastel watercolors create a warm, feminine tone, contrasted with sepia-tone "photographs" of moments in Dadima’s past from girlhood to adulthood. It’s a multilayered book that cleverly tells the story of a relationship while exposing readers to an Indian cultural tradition.

"…the continuous, loving exchange heightens the intergenerational warmth that's extended in Jaeggi's delicate watercolors, particularly in scenes of Dadima and the girls unfurling luxurious lengths of cloth. Young listeners will want to follow the appended, illustrated instructions demonstrating how to wrap a sari." —Booklist

Children's Literature: Transparent watercolors project the delicacy and colors of the materials of the saris as well as the various scenes, both real and imaginary, where the saris are worn or used. Warm family affection is evident in both story and illustrations. The end-papers are a plus, adding almost a dozen patterns, some of which appear incorporated in the saris or decorations in the story. The author adds a personal note on the sari in her life, along with instructions.

"A strong depiction of family, this story shows how meaningful traditional clothing can be." —Kirkus Reviews

Bank Street College: A wonderful book, My Dadima Wears a Sari perfectly captures a loving relationship between grandmother and child while conveying a special regard for the clothes and customs of other cultures. Told mostly in dialogue, the story will leave readers feeling that they know the characters.

Paper Tigers: My Dadima Wears a Sari is a sure-bet for young girls who will be anxious to try out sari-wearing themselves. The author includes step-by-step photos on "How to Wrap a Sari" at the end of the story. This book warmly captures the sweetness of a close relationship with a grandmother who takes palpable joy in sharing the traditions of her native culture with her American granddaughters.

"Soft watercolor paintings capture the magnificent fabrics of Dadima's saris and accentuate this loving story of a grandmother and her two granddaughters."
—School Library Journal

"…a treasure…" —New York Amsterdam News

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Awards, Honors, Prizes
  • Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People —NCSS/CBC 2008
  • Best Children's Books of the Year —Bank Street College of Education 2008
  • CCBC Choices: 2008
  • Selected for Read On Wisconsin! (preschool group) 2007
  • Georgia Picture Book Award Nominee 2009-2010