BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Bea Reviews The Arabic Quilt by Aya Khalil & Illustrated by Anait Semirdzhyan

Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: February 18th, 2020
Buying Links: Amazon* | Apple Books* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Books | Kobo |
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Blurb from goodreads:

That night, Kanzi wraps herself in the beautiful Arabic quilt her teita (grandma) in Cairo gave her and writes a poem in Arabic about the quilt. Next day her teacher sees the poem and gets the entire class excited about creating a “quilt” (a paper collage) of student names in Arabic. In the end, Kanzi’s most treasured reminder of her old home provides a pathway for acceptance in her new one.

This authentic story with beautiful illustrations includes a glossary of Arabic words and a presentation of Arabic letters with their phonetic English equivalents.


My Thoughts:

This is a poignant, sweet, ultimately uplifting story of a girl adjusting to a new school. As if that weren't challenging enough, Kanzi and her family are Egyptian immigrants. Kanzi encounters some students who are unkind about her language and food. But her teacher connects with Kanzi through her poetry and her special blanket, handmade by her grandmother back in Egypt. Together with Kanzi's mother, they help Kanzi's class to understand their similarities and appreciate the differences, and they even inspire another class.

Khalil gently shows us the difficulties immigrant children can endure and how to connect with your new surroundings. I also appreciated the peeks into Kanzi's home life and the balancing act of American customs and Egyptian customs. While definitely a message story, "The Arabic Quilt" was fun to read and the art was lovely to look at. This would be a good book for 4 year old children and older. It can be enjoyed on its own or as the starting point for conversations around immigration, friendships, cultures other than our own, and meeting challenges.

6 comments:

  1. I'll tell my sister about it! She's got an 8 yr old.

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  2. This sounds so cute! I actually studied Arabic in college so that's another reason I want this one. :)

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    Replies
    1. Neat! One thing I wish the author had included was a pronunciation guide as part of the glossary. But that's my only complaint.

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  3. This sounds like a good one.

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