Title: The Best Eid Ever
Author: Asma Mobin-Uddin
Illustrator: Laura Jacobsen
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 3.8
Concepts: scarcity, wants and needs, altruism, economics of conflict
Review: Aneesa wondered if she would be able to enjoy Eid al-Adha, the big Muslim holiday marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage. This year her parents had decided to travel to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage, and the house seemed so quiet with just Aneesa and her grandmother. But Nonni had a surprise to cheer up her granddaughter: a large gift-wrapped box containing three gorgeous sets of clothes from Pakistan, complete with matching bangles and handmade shoes. She had also prepared Aneesha’s favorite curried lamb dish to enjoy after returning from prayers. It took an encounter at the prayer hall with two refugee girls for Aneesha to realize just how fortunate she was. The girls had fled their war-torn country with little more than the clothes on their backs, and their father worked long hours, even on Eid, to try to make ends meet.
An outstanding book, The Best Eid Ever provides readers with an interesting account of the Eid holiday and Muslim culture as seen through the eyes of a young child. Wrapped into the story is an important lesson about the economic hardships associated with war, and a child’s growing awareness of the difference between wants and needs. The lush colors and expressive features in the pastel pencil illustrations add a rich dimension to this enjoyable story.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children