cover image The Shape of Home

The Shape of Home

Rashin Kheiriyeh. Levine Querido, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-64614-098-5

In this buoyant, vibrantly illustrated story, Kheiriyeh centers an Iranian girl’s first day of school in America. Shapes and sensory experiences are the focus of attention as she notes breakfast items Rashin’s mother serves: “a smiley-face pancake and happy eggs.” Tan-skinned Rashin remembers sensate elements from her life in Iran (the smell of bread shaped “like my braided hair”), and notices differences in New York City, where she lives now (“Everyone is in a rush”). Upon arrival in her ethnically diverse class, teacher Mrs. Martin ask the children to share the shapes of their home countries: “I grew up in New Jersey,” she says “but my grandparents came from Benin, which is long and skinny—like me!” Having a teacher who engages the children about similarities and differences makes everything easier as bright, chalky spreads combine distinctive shapes with lively patterns and colors, creating a road map for curiosity and learning. Ages 4–7. (Aug.)