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  • Writer's pictureMuslim Kids Book Nook

Haboba's House by Alia Gabres


Title: Haboba's House

Author: Alia Gabres

Illustrator: Tanya V.

Publisher: Freedom Soul Media

Age: 4-8


Islamic Content: None, Eritrean Muslim Characters


Concerns: None



It is school break and that means Iman gets to spend her days at Haboba's house when her mother is at work. As Haboba gets ready for the market, Iman is in awe as she carefully studies the way that her Grandmother dresses in her bilay, step by step. Iman just dreams about the day she will one day wear a bilay just like her grandmother. Each day with Haboba brings a new adventure for Iman, but when she forgot to bring along the bilay to show her grandmother, she finds herself surprised when she gets to Haboba's house.



This is one of the titles I invested in on my last Amazon haul. I have seen this book floating a year ago on my Instagram and for some reason it has staying in the back of my mind since but never got to it. I just love the innocence of little Iman in this story. How she observes her grandmother and looks up to her in amazement. Haboba is such an endearing character and I absolutely love her nick name for Iman, 'little parrot.' I really loved the cultural aspect of this book whether it through the clothing, through the tea party or the nick name for Iman. I am so conflicted. While this is a sweet story about the tender relationship between grandparent and grandchild, I think it lacks great editing to streamline the story and fix the grammar error in it. Some parts seem to be slightly wordy and lengthy that it could have done without. Also, I would have loved to see an additional page in the end to include facts about Eretria and maybe even explain the exact definition of bilay for the little readers. I really find the style of illustrations beautifully unique and memorable. I think there is so much potential with this story that with a little help from a professional editor it can really be boosted to another level. This is said to be the first book in "Iman's Really Really Big World" series.



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