Fatima's Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq
📚 BOOK REVIEW 📚
Title: Fatima's Great Outdoor
Author: Ambreen Tariq
Illustrator: Stevie Lewis
Publisher: Kokila @penguinkids
Islamic Content: Muslim characters
Concerns: bollywood music on the road trip and singalong
Fatima has a rough week at school from her class mates and she is looking forward to the family's first ever camping trip. The fun roadtrip, the tent set up, their ethnic food, glimpses of stories from their life in India, their first anxious sleep in the tent, mama coming to the rescue to get the fire going, halal bacon and more. Even after all the hiccups, Fatima has found solace, comfort and escape in the outdoors.
I really love the concept of this story: a first time camping trip experience of an immigrant family. The Khazis figure things out as they go, and I liked that the story truly displays that a camping trip doesn't have to be completely 'Americanized' in order to be enjoyed. The name of the protagonist, Fatima, and the quick reference to halal bacon, are the only implications that the family is Muslim. This book highlights a lot of layers of baggage that many newcomers face as they are adjusting in a new place: bullying, fitting in, the English language, fond memories of life back home, hard working parents, trying new things etc. With that said, the younger readers might be overwhelmed while I think it can serve as an advanced picture book where fruitful discussions can take place especially if the book is used in a classroom read-aloud. With the weather finally showing promise, I am hoping to have our first family camping trip this year since my kids aren't toddlers anymore. Just hoping that some of our restrictions will lift soon enough to make that happen.