Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book?: This book explores how a classmate helps the new student from Morocco get adjusted not only to her new school environment but also her out of school surroundings. At first the classmate, who we never get officially introduced to, is trying to figure out where Saida’s words disappeared to. She looked for them everywhere but could not find her words to help her new classmate gain her words back. However, when her parents helped her to understand that Saida came from a different country, and how that impacts how she communicates, her classmate becomes laser focused on finding a way to communicate that isn’t just through verbal language. Quickly the girls gain an instant bond and understanding. They actually begin to teach each other words. This is a wonderful story about accepting others for who they are and the amazing cultures and experiences they bring into our friendships. Eventually Saida finds her words even if sometimes she mixes up some of the pronunciation but so does her classmate as she is learning Arabic from Saida. I love how at the end of the text the author includes the Arabic alphabet and different words in Arabic that readers can learn. The illustrations are beautiful. They almost come off very fantasy-like. For example, in one of the images she is looking in the mouth of a fountain animal to see where Saida’s words have disappeared. The colors are not as bright and colorful as we would imagine a cheery children’s book to be. This is an amazing book to read to children right now as we are learning about accepting people’s differences.
Anything you didn’t like about it?: No.
To whom would you recommend this book?: Children ages 6 -11 years old
Who should buy this book?: Middle School & Public libraries
Where would you shelve it ?
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Rose Metayer, Boston Latin School, Boston , MA
Date of review: 7/29/2020