Back Home by Shaista Kaba Fatehali
📚 BOOK REVIEW 📚
Title: Back Home
Author: Shaista Kaba Fatehali
Illustrator: Michelle Simpson
Publisher: Brandylane Publishers
Rating: 9/10 🌟
Islamic Content: Visualy Muslim protagonist/family
Asha is nervous on her first day of school in a new country, and she doesn't understand this new language. She quietly observes everything in her new surroundings and comforts herself through comparing her old school back home to the new one. As soon as she notices a difference, she follows up with a commonality. She sees that everyone has different snacks, but just like back home, sharing is something that is taught. Her friend shares her cookie with Asha and Asha gives away her date. Although the playground back home may not look like it does here, just like everyone here is taking turns, back home she learned to take turns as well. As her day progresses, she becomes more and more at ease about her new place.
It is very natural when a person goes someplace new that they would compare their previous experiences to their new ones. It is also very natural that a little child who has come to a new part of the world has these internal thoughts as she cannot yet verbalize her emotions. I truly love the idea of this book that gives comfort to those who are new and encourages them to seek out the similarities rather than letting the differences hinder them from adapting to a new chapter in their lives. Adjustment takes time, a long time. This book can be used to motivate the kids in their own home to welcome a new student in a kind and ready-to-help attitude. I think the home country of the protagonist is purposely unspecified. In the text, I felt that the flow of the story was at times slightly forced and unnatural. I was a little perplexed about why this book had a bit of a steep price point at about $30-$32CAD. Picture books of a similar size range between $17-$25CAD. Even after I purchased and read it, nothing jumps out at me to justify the high cost. Nonetheless, the positive message it promotes makes this book a highly recommended read, especially in school classrooms.
Available: @indigo, Amazon