So it's Eid and I'm going to talk about the perfect book for the season - Amal's Eid from Bharat Babies. Written by Amy Maranville and illustrated by Joshua Stevens, Amal's Eid is a picture book for early readers that talks about how Eid is celebrated by Bengali Muslims.
Before you scroll down to my review of Amal's Eid, I would like you to learn a little about Bharat Babies from my previous post right here - Bharat Babies on Priya's Lit Blog.
About the Book
Title : Amal's Eid
Author : Amy Maranville
Illustrator : Joshua Stevens
Publisher : Bharat Babies
Genre : Children's Fiction - Illustrated Book
Meet Amal. Amal is in the third grade. He loves playing outside, hanging out with his little brother Youssef (sometimes!), and eating Bengali sweets. Today, Amal is celebrating Eid al-Fitr with his family, and he wants you to join in the celebration. Learn about Amal's special family traditions as they celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Amal's Eid, with its vivid illustrations and carefully constructed plot, is a great book to teach little ones about the traditional Bengali Eid. The plot is linear and the tone narrative, with little Amal, the protagonist, telling the readers how he celebrates Eid with his family every year.
Amal is a third grader who lives with his family consisting of his brother Youssef and parents. Though they are understood to be Bengalis, it is probable that they live outside India as their attire is uncommon (Muslim women in India do not wear colourful Burqahs as shown in the book though they do wear colourful headscarves).
As Amal talks about how they fast during the month of Ramadan leading up to Eid-ul-Fitr which they celebrate with a delicious feast. Eid is a time for family reunion as his aunt and grandparents join them in the feast. The feast and other other Eid customs such as that of getting new clothes are talked about in such a way that the reader, whether Muslim or not, Indian or not, would be able to acknowledge and appreciate the diverse traditions.
This book is not just for children of diverse descent, but also for any child, regardless of their cultural identity. While Bengali Muslim children would be able to identify with Amal, non-muslim children or muslim children from other cultures would learn to appreciate the many different cultures and traditions that people follow. This book does not discuss religion and focuses on the good principles underlying the observance of Ramadan and the festivities of Eid.
We kiss and hug goodnight, and go to bed with full bellies and happy hearts.The language is simple and clear - perfect for ages three and up, who have just started reading - independently or with guidance of parent/teacher. Amal's Eid introduces many vernacular words which may or may not be familiar to the reader already, but with the illustrations, the readers learn to infer the contextual meaning and it also enhances visual memory skills.The book can also be read out aloud and the illustrations on each page shown to the reader. The paragraphs are very short and the pictures pretty explanatory as I have already mentioned.
So I think Amal's Eid is a great book to teach children about diverse cultures around the world. I would definitely recommend it to all parents, teachers and librarians, because we really need diverse books such as these.
How to Get Your Copy of Amal's Eid
You can get Amal's Eid and many other multicultural books for children from Bharat Babies. If you buy from their website you can avail some great discounts but these books are available on Amazon as well. So hurry up, head over to bharatbabies.com !
[ I received Amal's Eid and two other books from Bharat Babies as part of our partnership, details of which you can find in my previous post. My review of this book is unbiased as is with all the other reviews on this blog and you can read my review policy right here. ]