cover image The Day of Ahmed's Secret

The Day of Ahmed's Secret

Florence Parry Heide. HarperCollins Publishers, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08894-1

In this admirable introduction to life in an alien culture, readers are whisked to the busy streets of Cairo--where young Ahmed is making his daily rounds on a donkey cart, delivering large canisters of butane gas. The city is presented through his eyes, and text and illustration work together in harmony to produce a sense of place so vivid that readers can almost hear the cry of vendors in the crowded marketplace and feel the heat rising from the streets. On this particular day, Ahmed carries a secret with him (he has learned to write his name in Arabic), one children will enjoy trying to guess. The authors have produced fluid prose, and Lewin's sensitive, luminous watercolors hint at the mystery and timelessness of this exotic city. Ages 6-9. (Aug.)