Our Favorite Day of the Year by A.E. Ali
📚 BOOK REVIEW 📚
Title: Our Favorite Day of the Year
Author: A.E. Ali
Illustrator: Rahele Jomepour Bell
Publisher: Salaam Reads
Islamic Content: Eid ul-Fitr
Concerns: a flawed book. Read full review
Musa is nervous to start school for the very first time. His teacher eases them into it gradually as she asks them to share what their favorite holidays are. For Musa it is Eid ul-Fitr is his favorite. Moshe shares that his favorite day is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Moises's most definitely loves Las Posadas, a nine day event celebration of Christmas. Kevin and his family celebrate science, especially PI Day in March. When the end of the school year approaches, the teacher distributes a calendar for them to take home, with the special holidays marked so that the kids celebrate the days that brought them together in class.
It seems that I might have a completely different perspective to this newly released book that has become a favorite to many. This book shows and displays a room full of diverse kids sharing days that are important to them. Because of it, I really wanted to like this book, and I did, until I got to the end. While I value the importance of teaching our kids to understand the diversity that the world, or their classroom is filled with, for me, this book has missed the mark. As practicing Muslims, we struggle to dodge events that revolve around holidays other than our own, this book seems to do the opposite.
"Their teacher handed out a calendar with many holidays on it. 'This way you can always remember when we're not together to celebrate the days that brought us together."
It is imposing the celebrations of others to every body and bringing it along at home. When diversity in books is discussed in order to teach kindness, respect and compassion for the similarities and for the differences we all bring, then that would be a valuable book. In this book, I appreciated the different aspects and facts that were included in each shared holiday. It introduces the little ones to the idea that what is special and important to them, may not be the same for others. I felt that with the conclusion of the story, it just may have undone what the book was intended for? Hypothetically speaking, if all those kids celebrated all the same holidays, they might be diverse in other aspects, but would they be diverse in their celebrations?