Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea: How a Science Project Helps One Family and the Planet

Elizabeth Suneby, illus. by Rebecca Green. Kids Can, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77138-720-0
In the newest addition to the CitizenKid series from Suneby (Razia’s Ray of Hope), a Bangladeshi boy’s search for a science fair project is the conduit for discussing a health and safety issue found in many developing countries: open-flame cooking. The fictional Iqbal (not to be confused with the late Pakistani children’s rights crusader) notices that smoky indoor cooking during monsoon season is causing his family’s breathing problems. He works with his teacher and sister to build a solar cooker for the science fair, hoping that the prize money could pay for a propane stove. The stylized colored-pencil illustrations from Green (How to Make Friends with a Ghost) offer realistic scenes of Bangladeshi village life in muted hues and portray the closeness of Iqbal’s family. Readers also glimpse an educational system segregated by gender: Iqbal’s class consists of all boys with a male teacher, though his inquisitive, insistent sister, Sadia, who also attends school, is just as involved with the project. An author’s note, glossary, and do-it-yourself instructions for a pizza box solar cooker wrap up another successful entry in this series of encouraging stories about children empowered by education and engaged in problem-solving in their communities. Ages 8–12. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/12/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
Genre: Children's
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