A Sky-Blue Bench by Bahram Rahman, illustrated by Peggy Collins. Pajama Press, 2021. 9781772782226
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Picture book
What did you like about the book? How beautiful and heart-breaking to read this lovely picture book about a young girl, crippled from an UXO device, who finds a way to be comfortable at school by building her own bench. The ingenuity and determination of Afghani women and girls is explored as Aria finds that she can not sit comfortably on the floor of her all-girls school. After briefly considering not going back she decides she will build her own seating. Thus, with a little help from the local carpenter, Aria and her mother build and paint the sky-blue bench.
Anything you didn’t like about it? It’s a beautiful story
To whom would you recommend this book? Bahram Rahman is the author of The Library Bus as well which is another picture book about the ingenuity and determination of Afghani women. I would recommend A Sky-Blue Bench to those who enjoyed his earlier books.
Who should buy this book? Those that are interested in Afghanistan and girls’ rights should buy this book as well as all public and school libraries. It’s a picture book that is right for all ages.
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No, but you should buy it
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Pam WattsFlavin, Head of Children’s Services, Robbins Library, Arlington MA
Date of review: September 23, 2021