Cover Image: The Arabic Quilt

The Arabic Quilt

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Member Reviews

This was such an eye opening book for me and I can’t wait to purchase it for my classroom to read with my students. You don’t often see many picture books with an Arabic background or characters and I think this was so well done. Thank you!
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A sweet story about a young Egyptian-American girl, Kanzi, getting ready to go to school for the first time since her family immigrated to the U.S.. She's worried (as all children are) about fitting in with her classmates, about being thought of as "other," about looking different from the other kids. One day, Kanzi forgets her lunch, and her mother brings it to her, calling her "Habibti" (my love). A girl from Kanzi's class, Molly, overhears, and makes fun of her mother's words, saying her language sounds funny. Kanzi rises to the occasion, sharing her language with her classmates through an art project- the students make a paper quilt, each piece having their name on it written in Arabic. Molly apologizes, and asks for Kanzi's help writing Molly's mother's name in Arabic, as Molly wants to make a quilt square for her mother as a gift. At the end of the story, Kanzi writes a poem to her parents, thanking them for always encouraging her to be proud of her heritage.
This is a great story, showing Kanzi's feelings in a relatable way that children can understand- kids don't like to feel different from their peers, and no one likes to be made fun of. The teacher's behavior in the story was wonderful, turning a bad situation into a positive learning experience. I liked that Molly grew from the experience, and I can only hope all children finding themselves in her place will grow too. After the story, there is a glossary of the Arabic words used in the story. The illustrations are lovely and emotive, and blend with the story well. Definitely recommended, for classroom and school libraries, as well as home collections.

#TheArabicQuilt #NetGalley
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The Arabic Quilt is the perfect book to introduce multiculturalism in the classroom or at home. The story follows Kanzi, who just moved to a new town with her parents. When one of her peers makes fun of her mother speaking their native language, she decides to proudly share her culture rather than shying away. 

I love this book for a number of reasons, but especially the inclusion of Arabic language within the book. Even as an adult, this sparked my interest in learning more of the language. In addition, the paper quilt idea makes this the perfect classroom read! I'm sure students would love to participate in making their own quilt after reading.
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This book was received as an ARC from Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC - Tilbury House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I loved this story and the illustrations in this book. The meaning and feeling of this book is so warm and inspiring that everyone will appreciate the sentiment. I also loved the symbolism of the quilt and how it help Kanzi overcome the bullying and opinions of the students in her class and how she looked at her heritage as part of who she is and the pride that comes along with it. This will be great for our classrooms since we have a strong Arabic community and everyone will appreciate the message of the book.

We will consider adding this title to our JFiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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*Thank you NetGally for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*

The Arabic Quilt is such a touching story about embracing your cultural roots, the beauty of learning about other cultures, and celebrating those differences. It's so hard starting at a new school when you're different from your peers. Kanzi moved from Egypt to America and is the only one like her in her class. I loved watching Kanzi’s growth as she herself went from embarrassment to pride in her culture as she shared its beauty with her classmates.

This would be such a great read-aloud for classroom community.
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This is a beautiful book about sharing ones culture and fitting in at school. I love how it shows what it can be like for kids, and how teaching others about culture bridges a gap.
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anguages can unite us together like a quilt. So I will always speak my languages without guilt.

Introducing your child to different cultures helps your child grow in empathy and compassion. Kanzi is now living in the United States going to school. She has moved from Egypt and she has brought with her a quilt that reminds her of her home and family. Kanzi does'nt want to be different but she learns that it is the differences that make her unique. With the help of her teacher, the other students learn that lesson as well.

A lesson that is never ending and Kanzi's story is a great reminder of that lesson. It puts a face to preconceived ideals.

A special thank you to Tilbury House Publishers and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
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The Arabic Quilt is a beautiful story about embracing your cultural roots and the beauty of learning about other cultures. This is a sweet story with lots of wonderful lessions and definitely deserves a spot on your shelves. 
Many thanks to Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC , Tilbury House Publishers, NetGalley for the advance copy.
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The Arabic Quilt is a special story about starting at a new school when you're different from. your peers.  It's a lovely Own Voices story about being Egyptian-American and what it means to make a classroom feel safe.
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I love the diverse voices in this book. It's a story of diversity and belonging. I love the feeling that I belong with my friends, regardless of which culture I am. This book is so sweet and I love how the author captured those feelings perfectly. This book is perfect for readers ages 5-8.
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What a wonderful way to introduce children to the concept of belonging by sharing your differences instead of hiding them. Being a quilter myself, I will certainly integrate this model into the curriculum with my young students.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Arabic Quilt is an amazing way to teach kids about differences, the importance of languages, and that there's nothing wrong with being from a different culture. Absolutely a most!.
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This special book addresses the fears that many children and especially immigrants have when they begin attending a new school. Concerns about feeling different and fitting in, finding acceptance, making friends, and feeling safe are all part of this book. In this story, through the intervention of her teacher, the children in Kanzi's class are introduced to the Arabic culture in a special way - by learning how to write their own names in Arabic. The classroom teacher then takes the names and builds a quilt of the children's names written in Arabic for display in the classroom. 

Although a seemingly simple activity, it is powerful in its symbolism. One of Kanzi's special reminders of her former home in Egypt is her grandmother's quilt and she turns to it when feeling sad. The connection between her grandmother's quilt and the quilt of her classmates' names is a bridge for Kanzi's acceptance in her new school.

This lovely book is beautifully illustrated and the pictures enhance the mood and meaning of the story. The book also includes a list of Arabic words and letters with their English phonetics so that the reader can also write their name in Arabic as well.

Thank you, Net Galley for the opportunity to review this lovely and special story.
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What a beautiful book about coming together and celebrating differences. Kanzi has moved to the US from Egypt and on the first day at school, her mother brings her lunch that she had left at home. Some students hear Kanzi’s mother speak to her in Arabic and make fun of the sound of her language. The teacher discovers an Arabic poem that Kanzi wrote about her grandmother’s quilt, and comes up with a project idea to share the Arabic language with the students so that Kanzi feels accepted. The author, Aya Khalil, based the book on her own life events as a child and I’m really glad that she shared her story. I highly recommend this book to all young readers to share the importance of respecting other cultures and languages. Thank you to Tilbury House Publishers and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for a review.
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The Arabic Quilt by Aya Khalil is an beautifully illustrated picture book about a young Egyptian-American girl named Kanzi, who is nervous about starting school with primarily white classmates and staff. As many children of immigrants are, she's worried that her favorite family foods will bring the wrong kind of attention to her if her parents pack them for lunch. Goodbye korma sandwiches and lentil soup, hello peanut butter and jelly or turkey sandwiches. And true to form, there is a rude little blonde classmate or two who spout lines from their parents about not learning languages other than English and who mock Kanzi's language, food, and family. But Kanzi has a loving and supportive family, and she has a cherished quilt made by her grandmother back in Egypt. She's also fortunate enough to have a supportive teacher who encourages her to share her culture with her classmates, and to address bullying with the problematic students. The story ends on a happy note, with cultures shared and Kanzi encouraged.

The story can feel a little didactic or moralistic sometimes, and the children's dialogue sometimes sounds too mature for the ages depicted. But an author's note at the end of the book says that this story is actually based on her own experiences as a child, so it's not merely a moralistic fable. Instead it's a timeless experience that feels as relevant now as when the author was a child. It's not only a reflection of real life experiences, but also an encouragement to children to be proud of their own cultures and open to learning about the cultures of others. And, as mentioned, the art is absolutely lovely. Worth sharing with the children in your life, with the understanding that it may lead to some serious discussions and even craft ideas, based on Kanzi's class's language quilt. (It may also lead to some food cravings, as I now want some of all the food mentioned in the story--fava beans for breakfast? Watermelon feta salad? Kofta sandwiches? Lentil soup? Yes, yes, and yes please.)

Thank you to #NetGalley and Tilbury House Publishers for sharing a temporary digital advanced readers' copy of #TheArabicQuilt with me. This is my honest review.
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Khalil and Semirdzhyan have created a beautiful story in The Arabic Quilt. Themes of racism, bullying, and prejudice are explored at an age appropriate level that provide opportunities for teachers and parents to have critical conversations with young readers that promote tolerance and acceptance.

Verdict:  Definitely recommend purchasing this book for school libraries and classrooms.
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This is an adorable tale of friendship and acceptance...............................................
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Kanzi is a young girl starting her first day of school in a new town. This would be uncomfortable for any girl, but Kanzi is Egyptian-American and her culture and food are very different from her classmates'. Kids at school tease Kanzi about their differences, but her teacher, Mrs. Haugen, comes up with a way to include Kanzi's culture in a lesson and this leads to acceptance of Kanzi and other students with different cultural backgrounds; not just tolerance, but an embracing of other cultures, which is the America we long for.

I absolutely adored this book and legitimately cried when reading it. Yes, it is a children's book, but its emotional impact goes beyond that. I also loved that the book has a small glossary of Arabic words in the back (I just wish pronunciations had been included!). The artwork by Anait Semirdzhyan is also stunning. 

I definitely recommend this book to anyone with small children. This would be a fantastic edition to any home library or elementary classroom. 

Thanks to Aya Khalil, Anait Semirdzhyan, Myrick Marketing & Media, Tilbury House Publishers, and NetGalley for a free e-copy of The Arabic Quilt in exchange for an honest review.
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This is an immigrant story of a sweet third grade girl who desperately want to assimilate and finds that by sharing her culture that she gains a new appreciation for her own traditions. Because it's a picture book, you appreciate the artistry that is the Arabic language and the growing acceptance of the class.
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What a beautiful story! Kanzi is a little girl whose family has moved to America from Egypt. She begins third grade at a new school and feels out of place and isolated. Fortunately, Kanzi has a very encouraging teacher who shows interest in her background. Kanzi is teased by a classmate for being "different," but with her supportive family, teacher's encouragement, and a class project she learns to be proud of her heritage, eventually winning over the classmate who teased her. This is such a beautiful story about feeling different, but learning to be proud of one's own story and family. 

Thank you NetGalley and Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC/Tilbury House Publishers for providing this ARC.
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