Amira's Picture Day

's picture day  holiday house

"Do you see the moon?" whispered Mom.  Ziyad scanned the sky.....  there it is...the moon.  That means tomorrow...tomorrow is Eid!  Amira rushes to bring her mom the mehndi cone and in a few minutes her hands are decorated.  Amira has her goody bags all ready to share when they get to the party at the masjid tomorrow.  Everything is going to be fantastic...and then Amira remembers....tomorrow is Picture Day at school.

Okay. so maybe you don't celebrate Eid.  Maybe you don't know what a mehndi cone is and you have never been to a party at a masjid.  But you sure know what it's like for Hanukkah to be tomorrow, or Diwali or ....Christmas.   You know what the traditions are that make that day so special...hanging the stocks, opening the gifts.

Tomorrow is picture day at Amira's school and she is so sorry to have to miss it....she won't be going to school tomorrow.  She'll be going to party at the masjid.  It's so hard to have one foot in the world of school and the other foot in the world of her family and her religion.

How would you feel?  What would it be like to walk into Picture Day wearing the clothes that your family chooses to wear to celebrate your special day?  Will you be accepted if you are different?  What would happen if someone wearing a shalwar kameez walked into your Picture Day?

Just how different is Amira?  She is celebrating her religious holiday; she is going to a party; she is decorating her hands; she is wearing her shalwar kameez...but it sure could be that special Hanukkah or Christmas dress, that Christmas Eve, that Hanukkah menorah.

This is a lovely story with a child's eye view of the every day challenges of being a Muslim in a world where she is not in the majority and where many children don't know what Muslims believe in and have never heard of Eid.

A perfect read to be paired with Becoming Vanessa by Vanessa Brantley Newton - what would your class do?  How would your class see someone who was a little bit different?  How would you feel?

It's so important to give our young listeners stories that let them walk in someone else's shoes for a few minutes.  To give them stories that invite them into someone else's world with a different religion, a different way of dressing, different food - to invite them to see that they have so much that is the same and so little that is different.

We need these stories to give a new way of looking at people and a doorway to acceptance.

40 pages 978-0823440191 Ages 6-10

Keywords: Eid, Muslim, religion, Picture Day, school, family life, holidays, fitting in, being different, acceptance, accepting others, multicultural, being yourself, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old, Muslim American author

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

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Ramadan has come to an end, and Amira can't wait to stay home from school to celebrate Eid. There's just one hiccup: it's also school picture day. How can Amira be in two places at once?

Just the thought of Eid makes Amira warm and tingly inside. From wearing new clothes to handing out goody bags at the mosque, Amira can't wait for the festivities to begin. But when a flier on the fridge catches her eye, Amira's stomach goes cold. Not only is it Eid, it's also school picture day. If she's not in her class picture, how will her classmates remember her? Won't her teacher wonder where she is?

Though the day's celebrations at the mosque are everything Amira was dreaming of, her absence at picture day weighs on her. A last-minute idea on the car ride home might just provide the solution to everything in this delightful story from acclaimed author Reem Faruqi, illustrated with vibrant color by Fahmida Azim.---from the publisher

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