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Once Upon an Eid: 07/13/20

Once Upon an Eid

Once Upon an Eid edited by S.K. Ali is an intersectional exploration and celebration of Eid. As the introduction explains, there are two Eids and when they occur shifts year to year due to the lunar calendar.

Besides being about the anticipation or the celebration of Eid, the stories are also glimpses into the vast diversity of Islam and the many different traditions that families follow.

The list of stories are:

  1. Perfect by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (USA/Black)
  2. Yusuf and the Great Big Brownie Mistake by Aisha Saeed (USA)
  3. Kareem Means "Generous" by Asmaa Hussein (Canada)
  4. Don'ut Break Tradition by S.K. Ali (Canada)
  5. Just Life Chest Armor by Candice Montgomery (USA/Black)
  6. Gifts by Rukhsana Khan (Canada)
  7. The Feast of Sacrifice by Hena Khan (USA)
  8. Seraj Captures the Moon by G. Willow Wilson (USA) and Sara Alfageeh (USA)
  9. Searching for Blue by N.H. Senzai (USA)
  10. Creative Fixes by Ashley Franklin (USA/Black)
  11. Taste by Hanna Alkaf (Malaysia)
  12. Eid Pictures by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (USA/Black)
  13. Not Only an Only by Huda Al-Marashi (USA)
  14. Maya Madinah Chooses Joy by Ayesha Mattu (USA)
  15. Eid and Pink Bubble Gum, Insha'Allah by Randa Abdel-Fattah (AUS)

My favorites are "Perfect", "Yusuf and the Great Big Brownie Mistake", "Kareem Means'Generous'", "Don'ut Break Tradition", and "Not Only an Only."

"Perfect" is about misguided bad feelings. One girl is embarrassed that she only speaks English. The other feels her English isn't good enough.

"Yusuf and the Great Big Brownie Mistake" is a stone soup for Eid, where the perfect brownies are made even better with some help from family.

"Kareem Means'Generous'" is about a one boy helping another keep his paper route after his bike is lost, and making a life long friend in the process.

"Don'ut Break Tradition" is about a girl using her Eid money to keep the donut tradition going when her mother is too sick.

"Not Only an Only" is about a second Muslim girl attending the small high school. The two girls are very different but too everyone else, they seem the same. Can they get over their differences and become friends?

There's also a delightful comic midway through the book, written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Sara Alfageeh. Imagine if Eid couldn't be announced because there were too many lanterns, blocking out the light of the moon. What can a child do to make sure the holiday isn't missed?

Five stars

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