Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Picture Book
What did you like about the book? This is the story of a young boy named Sadiq who lives with his mother in the mountains of Kashmir, India. They live in a nomadic community of shepherds and (because of his father’s passing a few years before) it is Sadiq’s responsibility to tend the family’s flock of sheep. While Sadiq spends his day tending the sheep, his mother is busy creating beautiful embroidery rugs to sell in town. Sadiq admires his mother’s work and feels she makes the most beautiful rugs in all of Kashmir. What his mother does not know is that Sadiq has dreams of making his own rugs. When he watches the sheep in the fields, Sadiq dreams of colors and patterns that he would use in a tapestry. When his mother receives an order for two rugs, Sadiq offers to help. His mother refuses his help saying that a man’s job is to tend the sheep and it is a woman’s job to make the rugs. She does not feel it is appropriate for Sadiq to be working on embroidery. Unfortunately, Sadiq’s mother becomes ill and is unable to complete the second rug in the order–but, what she does not know is that Sadiq has been secretly stitching the second rug all week during the quiet hours of the night. When the salesman comes to get the rugs, Sadiq pulls his rug out from a hiding spot under his bed. His mother is so amazed at the craftsmanship that she keeps the rug and displays it outside for everyone to see. Sadiq’s mother sees the talent in her son and agrees to let him help her make more rugs.
I loved the bright colors used in this story. The reader can clearly see that the inspiration for these rugs come from the beautiful colors found in this mountainous region–green grass of the hillside, yellow on a bird’s beak, and blue of the clear sky.
Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing
To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children over the age of three years. This is a great story to let children know they can do and be whatever they want–even if some of those things are typically a “girl thing” or a “boy thing”.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, preschools, daycare centers, anyone who works with children over the age of three. (This story reminds me of a three-year-old boy in a preschool class that used to love to wear nail polish–this would have been a great book for that preschool classroom.)
Where would you shelve it? Picture Books
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, a great book to show children they can do and be whatever they want.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.
Date of review: May 21, 2020