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The Arabic Quilt

“The Arabic Quilt” is a wonderful story about being proud of being diverse, and that our differences only make us stronger.⠀ ⠀ Kanzi has just moved and she’s nervous that she won’t make any friends at school because she is “different” than everyone, with her Egyptian-American background. She conveniently “forgets” her homemade lunch, but her mom follows her to school and speaks to her in Arabic in front of all her classmates. Molly makes fun of the Arabic language and her mom, which makes Kanzi cry. Her teacher comforts her and sends Molly to apologize, and in their interaction we start to see Kanzi defend her language and show pride in it. ⠀ Kanzi also gains pride in herself when she helps her mother in a class activity where they write down everyone’s name in Arabic on decorated squares and then join them together to make a quilt. This physical manifestation of how differences can unite and become one big beautiful piece of art teaches kids that being diverse can still unite everyone, and in Mrs.Haugen’s words”speaking different languages other than English doesn’t mean you’re not American.”⠀ Kanzi transforms in the story and becomes more confident in herself, and is actually able to make friends with Molly. ⠀ At the end of the story, other classes and other students are inspired to make their quilts in a different language and we see how Kanzi has become a leader of positive change in her school.⠀ The illustrations by @anaitsart are also amazing and add more depth and character (do I see an Egyptian newspaper!?❤️) to the book.⠀ ⠀ Another amazing Islamic theme I saw was hijab! Kanzi’s mother wears hijab out of the home, but not in the home-which is so reflective of Muslim homes.⠀ ⠀ I absolutely loved this picture book, I also pre-ordered a hard-copy to read to my kids, and I feel this needs to be in every library and school!⠀ ⠀ Price: 17.95 usd


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