Eid Tale retold by Fawzia Gilani-Williams. Illustrations by Proiti Roy. Marshall Cavendish Children, 2010. (review copy) This beautiful picture book tells the tale of Nabeel, the shoemaker. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is over. The holiday of Eid marks the end of the fasting, and everyone wants new shoes and new clothes to celebrate. Nabeel happily buys gifts for his wife, his daughter, and his mother. He buys a new pair of pants for himself, but they are too long. He asks each of the women in his family to help him shorten them but they all say they are too busy. In the scurry of getting ready for the holiday, visiting friends and relatives and doing acts of kindness and mercy, however, it turns out the each person in the household finds a few hurried minutes to shorten those pants. Nabeel's pants go through some very silly changes in this funny story.
The book is scattered with Arabic phrases and the names of different articles of clothing or special holdiay foods. The front matter of the book includes a glossary to explain these terms and they are all marked with italics in the text to aid the reader in identifying them.
This book is charmingly illustrated with bold colors and simple domestic views of the family stumbling over each other's good intentions in a zany but kindly way. Children will get a taste of the excitement of preparing to celebrate the feast with this loving, busy family. Ramadan is celebrated from mid-August to mid-September in 2010, so this would be a great book to share at beginning of the new school year.
Fawzia Gilani-Williams, a teacher, librarian and author of twenty books, lives in Ohio and is of Indian descent, born and raised in England. Proiti Roy is a teacher and children's book illustrator living in Chennai, India.