By: Tracy Brown
Illustrated by: Paula Wegman
Published: March 2, 2021
Publisher: Kalaniot Books
Sarah has been practicing her ballet routine for months. She knows every position and the whole routine by heart. She even has her sparkly recital dress and can’t wait to wear it and dance at her recital.
Unfortunately, Sarah finds out she will have to miss dancing her solo because her recital is the same day as her cousin, Lizzy’s wedding. Sarah is obviously very upset. But, she finds a way to celebrate Lizzy’s and her own big day.
The majority of the story is placed at cousin, Lizzy’s Jewish wedding. Through the story, readers learn the many traditions of a Jewish wedding including Circling, where the bride circles the groom seven times to symbolize the creation of a new family circle. Readers also see Ben, the groom, smash a glass at the end of the ceremony to represent the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. But, the traditions that Sarah becomes excited about are at the reception and involve dancing.
I love how the illustrator chose to create various diverse characters at the wedding ceremony and reception. All ages, sizes, and heritage are guests at the wedding and displayed on the pages. When the reader is focused on a certain character, the illustrator chose to draw everyone else in a reddish color, with the main character in full color. It certainly makes for a focused reading experience for the reader to notice that particular character’s expressions and actions.
Jewish families that want to teach their children common wedding traditions, can find this book also teaches children the life lesson of handling disappointment and finding the joy in the adventure. Even though there is a young dancer on the cover, this book can be enjoyed by all. Any child can relate to disappointment or having to accept tough choices. A glossary at the end of the book describes the history of certain Jewish wedding traditions.
Tracy Brown splits her time between Charlotte, NC, and Vail, CO, with her husband, Larry. She has three children who live scattered across the country. Tracy currently sits on the Executive Board of the Jewish Book Council. SARAH’S SOLO is her debut picture book.
Paula Wegman is an illustrator and graphic designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She works for an advertising agency on renowned international brands, as a freelance illustrator, and on collective projects. Her organic line and bright colorful style combine to create her distinctively dynamic characters.