cover image Ali the Great and the Market Mishap

Ali the Great and the Market Mishap

Saadia Faruqi, illus. by Debby Rahmalia. Picture Window, $6.99 paper (32p) ISBN 978-1-66639-387-3

Employing the feel of a classic aughts family cartoon, Faruqi (the Mayra Khan series) and Rahmalia (Gracie Brings Back Bubbe’s Smile) collaborate on a freewheeling series starter that emphasizes a child’s creativity and quick thinking. Pakistani American youth Ali Tahir is thrilled when his grandfather, whom he calls Dada, suggests an outing to the local South Asian market to pick up snacks. When Dada and Ali bring along Fateh, Ali’s toddler-age younger brother, Dada asks Ali to help him keep an eye on Fateh—after all, “one thing Fateh was good at was trouble.” Upon their arrival to the market, Fateh—awed by the many colorful and delicious snacks on offer—nearly knocks down an entire display in his haste to grab a bag of chips. Ali successfully circumvents disaster, but when he loses sight of Fateh, Ali draws upon his problem-solving skills to find his brother and prevent further trouble. Rahmalia’s dynamic and brightly colored illustrations portray the myriad emotions Ali experiences during his eventful market adventure. Includes an Urdu glossary, discussion questions, and lists of jokes and cultural snacks. Publishing simultaneously: Ali the Great and the Dinosaur Mistake, Ali the Great and the Eid Party Surprise, and Ali the Great and the Paper Airplane Flop. Ages 5–8. (Aug.)