What You Need to Know:|
• A strong story about sibling rivalry and the immigrant experience.
• Especially gorgeous illustrations.
• Written for an older picture book audience, I think. Those five and older will relate to the emotional issues, any,
younger and it will go over their heads.
Wonderful, warm and funny story about an Arab-American family. The exact nationality is never mentioned, but the author is of Pakistani descent, and this is based on a childhood memory of her own. The main character, Rubina, is thrilled when she is been invited to her first birthday party ever! When Rubina runs home and tells her mom, she must first explain what a birthday party is to Ami. Ami allows Rubina to say yes to the invitation with one condition, Rubina must bring her little sister to the party. Rubina is horrified. Rubina is tired of being different and this will only make her "weirder".
Rubina and little sister Sana attend the party and Sana makes a scene and when it's finally over they go home with their goody bags. You would think Rubina had been through enough at this point, but Sana proceeds to eat right through both their goody bags! Rubina is defeated, but Ami doesn't allow Rubina to have a fit, and asks Rubina to move on, so Rubina moves on (nice example of parental respect!). A while later, Sana comes home with an invitation, and Ami, in an "only fair" fashion, tells Sana she must take both her sisters to the party. Here is the best part of the story, Rubina tells Ami, no, Sana should go alone. Go Rubina!
This story is so heartwarming. You root for Rubina and Sana and their loving mother who is trying to make sense of our American culture. Wonderful discussion opportunities for you and your child. Also, just a terrific story with enchanting illustrations by Sophie Blackall of Ivy and Bean fame.
2010, 40 pages
Excellent Read-Aloud, Siblings, Humor, Compassion/Empathy
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