Anna wanted Papa to ask Sarah if she sings because she associated singing with her mother, who died. Anna recalled that her mother sang every day. In the first chapter of the book, Anna told her younger brother, Caleb, about how their mother sang every single day. This was something she told him about often. She also told him that Papa sang, too. Papa stopped singing after their mother's death. Singing reminded Anna and Caleb of happier times, when they had a loving mother and a father who was not stricken by grief. Anna and Caleb hoped that having Sarah in their lives would restore their father, and that he would sing again. It was important to the siblings that Sarah enjoy singing in order to restore normalcy in their lives.