Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? Both of these books show the preparation of the Islamic holiday Eid-ul-Adha as seen through two entertaining stories. The Lost Ring is a little bit of a mystery while, at the same time, educating the reader about the Eid-ul-Adha celebration. Two young cousins, Rahma and Muslimah, are helping with the preparation of samosas- a small pastry filled with a spicy potato and vegetable mixture. While waiting to help, Rahma is playing with her grandmother’s ring that was sitting on the counter. This ring is too large for her fingers so Rahma places it on her thumb. The girls begin making the samosas and also help with other preparations for the celebration. The festive atmosphere changes when it is discovered that grandma’s ring is missing. Now there is a mystery to be solved–or a lot of samosas to be eaten very carefully! What I really enjoyed about this book was how Rahma’s father took some time to explain the holiday to the children, which I think will be very informative to anyone reading this story who is not familiar with Islamic celebrations. The book Husna and the Eid Party is a great little story about the friendship between two girls. Husna has a best friend at school named Maryam. These girls enjoy doing everything together, but Husna is sad because she overhears Maryam discussing an Eid party at school–a party that does not include Husna. The thought of her friend having a party without her absolutely consumes Husna with grief until she finally goes home at the end of the day crying. As it turns out, the party was for Maryam’s brothers and Maryam assured Husna that she would never exclude her from any party.
The illustrations provided by Kulthum Burgess are soft watercolors with bright splashes of color, especially in the clothing. The illustrations show traditional Islamic clothing for both men and women, including a hijab worn by the young girls along with special dresses made for the Eid celebration.
Anything you did not like about the book. The only thing I did not like about these books is the size- they were both paperbacks with very small spines which makes it challenging to label for use in public libraries.
To whom would you recommend this book? These books are perfect for children between the ages of 7-11 years old, especially if they enjoy learning about other cultures.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, social studies anyone who works with children between the ages of 7-11 years old.
Where would you shelve it? Maybe in a section of holidays and celebrations.
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.
Date of review: March 18, 2021