cover image Our Favorite Day of the Year

Our Favorite Day of the Year

A.E. Ali, illus. by Rahele Jomepour Bell. S&S/Salaam Reads, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8563-0

This tranquil tale opens on kindergarten’s initial day, as Ms. Gupta tells her richly inclusive class that the first day of school is her favorite day of the year, and that each student will have a chance to share their favorite day at show-and-tell. When it’s Musa’s turn, he and his mother bring in food and decorations to commemorate Eid al-Fitr. His tablemates—with whom he forges a bond despite initial skepticism (“They were total strangers”)—in turn introduce their beloved annual observances, which include Rosh Hashanah, Las Posadas, and (in a nod to math and science aficionados) Pi Day. The highlight of this earnest celebration—of festivities, varied family configurations, and friendship—is Bell’s art, created using digital brushes and scanned, hand-painted textures, which feature intricate patterns and endearing portraits of the students. Ages 4–8. [em](June) [/em]