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About the Author
Is it possible that a kid's book can make a grown person cry? Yes, most definitely, because I did while reading Aya Khalil's debut picture book The Arabic Quilt- An Immigrant Story. The term "children's book" is misleading. They should generally just be called books, because it's stories like these that deserve a larger audience than only the market it's being targeted to.
The Arabic Quilt is an endearing story of little Kanzi's first day of 3rd grade in the U.S. She recently immigrated with her family from Egypt and doesn't want any extra attention on her than is necessary.Whether you are a new immigrant or several generations removed, this story will especially be felt by families where the parents: speak a different language, dress in traditional clothes or send ethnic food for lunch. Or, like me, all of the above. Hence, the waterworks.
Even though my kids are not immigrants to the U.S., and neither am I, this scene has played out before with my own children at their school. Once, after seeing me dressed in hijab, my daughter got asked, "Why does your mom wear that?" "Does she have hair?" It is so hard for children to just want to belong and find their place, without their classmates making it harder.--Isra "Muslims in Kid Lit" (2/21/2020 12:00:00 AM)
A full cast of narrators brings life to this audiobook, making listeners feel like we are in the kitchen with Kanzi's Egyptian family or in her third-grade classroom at school. On her first day of school, a classmate, Molly, teases her about her native language. Her teacher responds by assigning a class project that teaches the value of being bilingual: a quilt with all the students' names in Arabic. Lively music enhances the happy mood of triumph as the class quilt is unveiled. By the end of the audiobook, Molly's voice has changed from snobbish to contrite, and Kanzi's from ashamed to proud. Also included is a glossary of Arabic words spoken in Egyptian dialect and a list of English words derived from Arabic.-- "AudioFile review" (4/15/2020 12:00:00 AM)
In the end, Kanzi's most treasured reminder of her old home provides a pathway for acceptance in her new one.-- "Goodreads" (3/1/2020 12:00:00 AM)
One of the Eighteen 2020 Children's Books You'll Want on Your Reading List This Year--Abi Berwager Schreier "Romper" (12/29/2019 12:00:00 AM)