Our Favorite Day of the Year
Our Favorite Day of the Year
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Publisher's Hardcover15.29

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Annotation: A heartwarming picture book following a group of boys from different backgrounds throughout the school year as they become the best of friends.
Catalog Number: #219712
Format: Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Illustrator: Bell, Rahele Jomepour,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-481-48563-6 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8410-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-481-48563-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8410-8
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2018051370
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
It's the first day of kindergarten, and Musa is skeptical when his teacher tells the children to look around at the faces in the room, as they "will become your closest friends this year." Musa sits with Moises, Mo, and Kevin, who are all just as dubious. The teacher's plan for them is to share their favorite day of the year and celebrate it with the class. Musa and his mother decorate the classroom for Eid and tell everyone what it's all about. Mo goes next, sharing honey-dipped apples and challah for Rosh Hashanah. Moises shares about Las Posadas, and Kevin's scientific family celebrates Pi Day th pie, of course. An abundance of skin tones, body types, and facial features adds to the diversity in this vibrantly colorful, happy book. At the end of a year of celebrations, Musa admits that his teacher was right d he has the memories and friendships to prove it.
Horn Book
On the first day of kindergarten, Musa finds himself seated at a table with three other children. Ms. Gupta explains that by the end of the year these strangers will be good friends, and one way they will all get to know one another is via show-and-tell sharing of their "favorite day." Her favorite day is the first day of school; Musa knows that his favorite day is the Muslim holiday at the end of Ramadan, Eid el-Fitr ("Surely Eid was everyone's favorite day"). When it's his turn for show-and-tell, Musa's mother comes to class to share the foods, decorations, and traditions associated with Eid. The classmates at Musa's table, in turn, share their favorite days: Rosh Hashanah, Las Posadas, and even Pi Day (March 14, natch). The illustrations, using "digital brushes and scanned, hand-printed textures," juxtapose each child's family celebration of their favorite day alongside the class's engagement with it, with attention to detail that gives each celebration specificity. Lush endpapers feature a textured quilt that stitches together squares representing different cultural celebrations. This warmhearted, inclusive story turns a simple act of show-and-tell into an opportunity to share identity and culture in a way that fosters curiosity and generosity toward difference. Julie Hakim Azzam
Kirkus Reviews
Musa shares Eid with his new kindergarten classroom and learns about other students’ favorite days of the year as he makes friends with children from different backgrounds.At the beginning of the school year, teacher Ms. Gupta, who wears a bindi, tells the children the faces in this room will become their closest friends. Brown-skinned Musa can’t imagine it. But when the teacher says that everyone will share their favorite day of the year so they can all celebrate it together, Musa is elated. He shares Eid with his classmates. His mother comes in to help, wearing a hijab, and they serve the class foods from various cultures within Islam. “Everyone could see why Eid was Musa’s favorite.” When the other students share their favorite days, they are similarly received by the class: Mo shares Rosh Hashanah, with help from his family, two men wearing kippot who share his light skin and brown hair and a brown-skinned child with black hair; Moisés shares Christmas and Las Posadas; and Kevin shares Pi Day. At the end of the year, they have become good friends. This celebration of diversity and friendship includes lush descriptions of each holiday and can serve as an entry point for any one of them. Bell’s textured illustrations are festive and youthful, picturing a diverse, child-centered world. The endpapers are particularly intriguing, with quiltlike squares picturing various cultural symbols; further information on each of the four holidays appears in the backmatter.The dual focus on friendship and diversity makes this choice a winner. (Picture book. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly
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
School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 4 On the first day of kindergarten, Musa is surprised to hear from his new teacher that he will become good friends with the children in his class. She knows what she's talking about, structuring her classroom to embrace the differences among all students. One way the children become closer is by sharing their favorite day of the year. Each child believes his or her favorite day is the most special, but everyone is willing to learn about another culture, the associated foods, and the special traditions--all while sharing in the joy their classmate feels for the day. Musa explains why his favorite day is the Muslim holiday of Eid Mubarak, while Mo shares why he loves Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Moises celebrates the nine days of Las Posadas for his Christmas tradition, while Kevin talks about his family's love of science and their celebration of Pi Day, when his family learns about scientists and their discoveries. The celebrations profiled in the book are less about religion than family traditions and connections, and the year concludes with the teacher showcasing all these favorite days in calendars she passes out to the class. Colorful, charming illustrations show a diverse classroom where learning is thoughtful but also energetic and filled with music, dancing, and eating. VERDICT A comforting story that will help build bridges among children of different backgrounds and faiths. Sally James, South Hillsborough Elementary School, Hillsborough, CA
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Musa shares Eid with his new kindergarten classroom and learns about other students’ favorite days of the year as he makes friends with children from different backgrounds.At the beginning of the school year, teacher Ms. Gupta, who wears a bindi, tells the children the faces in this room will become their closest friends. Brown-skinned Musa can’t imagine it. But when the teacher says that everyone will share their favorite day of the year so they can all celebrate it together, Musa is elated. He shares Eid with his classmates. His mother comes in to help, wearing a hijab, and they serve the class foods from various cultures within Islam. “Everyone could see why Eid was Musa’s favorite.” When the other students share their favorite days, they are similarly received by the class: Mo shares Rosh Hashanah, with help from his family, two men wearing kippot who share his light skin and brown hair and a brown-skinned child with black hair; Moisés shares Christmas and Las Posadas; and Kevin shares Pi Day. At the end of the year, they have become good friends. This celebration of diversity and friendship includes lush descriptions of each holiday and can serve as an entry point for any one of them. Bell’s textured illustrations are festive and youthful, picturing a diverse, child-centered world. The endpapers are particularly intriguing, with quiltlike squares picturing various cultural symbols; further information on each of the four holidays appears in the backmatter.The dual focus on friendship and diversity makes this choice a winner. (Picture book. 4-8)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews (4/1/20)
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly (4/1/20)
School Library Journal Starred Review (5/1/20)
ALA Booklist (4/1/20)
Horn Book
Word Count: 734
Reading Level: 3.6
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.6 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 510655 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD580L

“Gorgeously inviting illustrations and a joyful theme…the consummate first day read.” —Shelf Awareness (starred review)

A heartwarming picture book following a group of boys from different backgrounds throughout the school year as they become the best of friends.

Musa’s feeling nervous about his first day of school. He’s not used to being away from home and he doesn’t know any of the other kids in his class. And when he meets classmates Moisés, Mo, and Kevin, Musa isn’t sure they’ll have much in common. But over the course of the year, the four boys learn more about each other, the holidays they celebrate, their favorite foods, and what they like about school. The more they share with each other, the closer they become, until Musa can’t imagine any better friends.

In this charming story of friendship and celebrating differences, young readers can discover how entering a new friendship with an open mind and sharing parts of yourself brings people together. And the calendar of holidays at the end of the book will delight children as they identify special events they can celebrate with friends throughout the year.


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