Amira’s Picture Day

Holiday House. Apr. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780823440191.
K-Gr 2–Amira feels conflicted when she realizes that school picture day is the same day as Eid. Spotting the crescent moon marking the end of Ramadan, Amira and her brother Ziyad know it means that there will be prayers, celebrations, and skipping school the following day. Amira’s mom decorates the girl’s hands with mehndi. Amira and Ziyad prepare goody bags for the kids at the masjid, while her mother irons Amira’s Eid outfit, a beautiful blue and gold mirrored shalwar kameez. Though Eid is full of the joy and community she loves, missing picture day puts a damper on the celebration, until Amira thinks of a possible solution. Deceptively simple, Faruqi’s narrative gently addresses the impact that the celebration of non-dominant cultures and holidays has on children and choices families make to uphold traditions. Moreover, Amira’s conflicted feelings and insistence on finding a solution create opportunities for dialogue about the importance of acknowledging spaces that matter to children, especially while families try to foster positive identity. Azim’s illustrations are fun and colorful, with tiny details reflecting the family’s personality, while the people attending Eid celebrations at Amira’s masjid are racially and culturally diverse, with varied skin tones, body types, and expressions of fashion and style. Back matter features an author’s note and glossary of terms, referencing Urdu and Amira and her family’s Pakistani roots.
VERDICT A lovely addition to the collection of books about Eid that can be used all year long.

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