Our Favorite Day of the Year

Salaam Reads. Jun. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481485630.
PreS-Gr 4–On the first day of kindergarten, Musa is surprised to hear from his new teacher that he will become good friends with the children in his class. She knows what she’s talking about, structuring her classroom to embrace the differences among all students. One way the children become closer is by sharing their favorite day of the year. Each child believes his or her favorite day is the most special, but everyone is willing to learn about another culture, the associated foods, and the special traditions—all while sharing in the joy their classmate feels for the day. Musa explains why his favorite day is the Muslim holiday of Eid Mubarak, while Mo shares why he loves Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Moises celebrates the nine days of Las Posadas for his Christmas tradition, while Kevin talks about his family’s love of science and their celebration of Pi Day, when his family learns about scientists and their discoveries. The celebrations profiled in the book are less about religion than family traditions and connections, and the year concludes with the teacher showcasing all these favorite days in calendars she passes out to the class. Colorful, charming illustrations show a diverse classroom where learning is thoughtful but also energetic and filled with music, dancing, and eating.
VERDICT A comforting story that will help build bridges among children of different backgrounds and faiths.

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