Reviewed by Ariana Hussain
Amira feels conflicted when she realizes that school picture day is the same day as Eid. Spotting the crescent moon marking the end of Ramadan, Amira and her brother Ziyad know it means that there will be prayers, celebrations, and skipping school the following day. Amira’s mom decorates the girl’s hands with mehndi. Amira and Ziyad prepare goody bags for the kids at the masjid, while her mother irons Amira’s Eid outfit, a beautiful blue and gold mirrored shalwar kameez.
Though Eid is full of the joy and community she loves, missing picture day puts a damper on the celebration, until Amira thinks of a possible solution. Deceptively simple, Faruqi’s narrative gently addresses the impact that the celebration of non-dominant cultures and holidays has on children and choices families make to uphold traditions. Moreover, Amira’s conflicted feelings and insistence on finding a solution create opportunities for dialogue about the importance of acknowledging spaces that matter to children, especially while families try to foster positive identity. Azim’s illustrations are fun and colorful, with tiny details reflecting the family’s personality, while the people attending Eid celebrations at Amira’s masjid are racially and culturally diverse, with varied skin tones, body types, and expressions of fashion and style. Continue reading.
Amira's Picture Day by Reem Faruqi
Published by Holiday House on April 6, 2021
Reading Level: Grade K, Grades 1-2
Review Source: Hijabi Librarians
Publisher's Synopsis: 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.