Thursday, June 11, 2020

Review - The Arabic Quilt

The Arabic Quilt

by Aya Khalil
illustrated by Anait Semirdzhyan
Date: 2020
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 36
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

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.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a story about an Egyptian-American girl at a new school. Embarrassed by her language (and her lunch), she finds herself not quite fitting in. But after a project at school where everyone makes a quilt featuring their names written in Arabic, the kids learn that knowing more than one language can be a valuable skill.

The theme and message aren't quite as focussed as I would like. Is it a book about Kanzi's grandmother's quilt? Is it a book about bullying? Racism? Spicy meatballs? There's quite a bit thrown in here, and I'm not sure the message gets across as well as it could.

But the illustrations are cute, and the overall theme about the value of diversity is nice. Those looking for picture books about the immigrant experience might like this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tilbury House Publishers for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.5 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment