The narrator of this cross-cultural gem is Cho, a five-year-old who is very excited about Sara Mee' s first birthday. In the ancient Korean tradition, family and friends gather to celebrate his sister Sara Mee's birth and to perform a toljabee, a prophecy game designed to help her decide what she wants be when she grows up. Relatives arrive with plates of food. An uncle plays the drums and then the small group watches eagerly as Sara Mee is seated at a table. Cho takes out various items from a cherry wood box and places them in front of her: a toy bow-and-arrow, a paintbrush, a little bag of gold coins, a book, a spoon, some yarn, and a bottle of ink. Each stands for career or vocation. Sara Mee makes her choice and everyone is very pleased.
What Will You Be, Sara Mee? is Kate Aver Avraham's first picture book and it is very timely, given the new emphasis in many places on appreciating the traditions and rituals of people with different ethnic backgrounds. The illustrations are by Anne Sibley O'Brian who captures the familial delight in this Korean celebration. Indigenous People around the world have many similar rituals for children which give them a keen sense of the important role they are destined to play in the community. A baby's first tol enables family and friends to encourage the child in the path she or he has chosen. What Will You Be, Sara Mee? is aimed at children 3–6 years of age.