For years, we’ve gotten plenty of pitches from publishers for countless children’s books about holidays. And by holidays I mean, generally Christmas. But that’s starting to change, and we’re so thrilled to see more representation of all kinds of families, and all kinds of celebrations in children’s books.
We’ve covered some wonderful books about Holi, books for children who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, and a wonderful children’s book about Ramadan — which started yesterday, so this might be a good time to grab that one.
But I must say, Amira’s Picture Day by Reem Faruqi, illustrated by Fahmida Azim, is the first book that’s come across our desks that’s specifically about Eid.
I’m so happy to have discovered it; not just for my kids, but for me. I confess that while I’ve heard of Eid, I didn’t entirely understand what the holiday was about. And then this sweet book came along, giving me an appreciation for a day that is so special to followers of Islam.
The story follows Amira, who couldn’t be more excited for class picture day at school. But, as it happens, Eid—a celebration marking the end of Ramadan—has fallen on school picture day.
She’s so looking forward to taking the day off school to celebrate at the masjid with her family, but she’s devastated that she won’t be part of her class picture at school, as so many children would be.
However, at the last minute, she comes up with an idea allowing her classmates to experience a taste of Eid themselves and letting her join in the class photo.
After the story, at the very end of the book, there’s a kid-friendly, educational glossary of the Islamic terms in the story, as well as a note explaining what Eid is and why it’s so tricky to know exactly when it will occur each year.
Amira’s Picture Day will surely resonate with children who celebrate Eid with their families, and seeing representation of one’s own holidays, religious, and cultural traditions is so important. But having a children’s book about Eid is also a fantastic idea for teachers or parents who are hoping to expand children’s understanding and appreciation for other cultures, religions, and celebrations that are not your own. Now more than ever.