cover image Babajoon’s Treasure

Babajoon’s Treasure

Farnaz Esnaashari, illus. by Nabi H. Ali. Simon & Schuster, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-6659-0188-8

This fanciful tale introduces a child’s view of her Iranian grandfather, and her own identity, through the lens of imagination. Miriam looks forward to her summer visit with Babajoon and Mamanjoon as “a magical adventure,” anticipating their beloved rituals: dining at the sofreh in their tea shop’s garden, and Babajoon and Miriam heading out “for a super special tasty treat.” When a gold coin unlike any she’s seen falls out of Babajoon’s pocket, it ignites Miriam’s sense of invention, and when he sings with a parrot, she draws a conclusion: “I can’t believe my parents never told me... My Babajoon is a... PIRATE!” His subsequent actions come under close scrutiny until a visit to a new shop, where her grandfather speaks Farsi with a friend and slowly reveals the true magic of their shared heritage. Esnaashari’s text and dialogue telling briskly propel the light story, and Ali’s action-oriented digital illustrations use jewel-toned hues to create Miriam’s imagined storyscapes. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)