When Sara's grandma, Catherine the Great, suddenly announces, "This year for my birthday, I want no presents! I have music in my Russian bones, and laughing in my heart. I have the day and the night, and I have all of you, " Sara is surprised. How can Grandma have a birthday party with no presents?
Her mama explains that a No Present can be anything from a kiss or a hug to a game of gin rummy, as long as it comes from deep inside you. But what kind of No Present would be good enough for Catherine the Great? Mr. Minsky, Monica and her dad, Mary Caruso and her baby, Mimmo, already have good ideas. But it isn't until Sara is surrounded by Grandma's bundles of Russian newspapers and books that she gets her own idea: She will teach Grandma to read and write English.
This lively borscht-and-blintzes birthday celebration shows that sometimes No Presents can be the best presents of all.