cover image What Will You Be, Sara Mee?

What Will You Be, Sara Mee?

Kate Aver Avraham, , illus. by Anne Sibley O'Brien. . Charlesbridge, $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-58089-211-7

The collaborators' close connection to their book's theme—Avraham (Joey's Way ) has an adopted Korean daughter, and O'Brien grew up in a bicultural family in South Korea—adds authenticity and warmth to this story of a Korean-American girl's first birthday celebration. Sara Mee's extended family and friends gather for a traditional tol , at which items representing various professions are placed before her; the object she first touches designates her future path. The narrator, Sara Mee's cheerful six-year-old brother, Chong, is honored to be a key participant in the ceremony and is thrilled when his sister reaches for a symbolic paintbrush. Chong gives her paper and crayons, and she draws pictures for which he—who at his own tol made a choice that evidently predicted a writing career—supplies the text. Rendered in ink brushline and watercolor, O'Brien's (the Jamaica series) illustrations are welcoming, if not especially memorable; there's no real emotional range beyond genial smiles exhibited among the members of Sara Mee's family. Avraham provides a glossary of Korean words used in the story. Ages 3–6. (Feb.)