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A Sweet Meeting on Mimouna Night

2020

by Allison Ofanansky and Rotem Teplow

"A story about a young girl celebrating the Moroccan Jewish holiday of Mimouna with a new Muslim friend. It’s Mimouna — the Moroccan Jewish holiday that marks the end of Passover, and when blessings are given for a year of prosperity and good luck. Miriam wants to help her mother make the sweet moufleta pancakes they always eat at their Mimouna party, but after not eating doughy treats for the week of Passover, they don’t have any flour in the house! So, Miriam’s mother takes her to visit their Muslim neighbors, who share their flour. The women drink tea together, and Miriam makes friends with a young girl named Jasmine. Miriam almost drops the bag of flour when she and Jasmine go to fetch it from the storeroom — but luckily Jasmine is there to catch it! Jasmine and her family then join Miriam’s family and friends to celebrate Mimouna. This sweet story of friendship and shared customs will introduce North American readers to the Mimouna holiday. The book concludes with an author’s note and a recipe for making moufleta, the sweet, paper-thin pancakes featured in the story, so that readers can enjoy, too." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Cross Group

Salma the Syrian Chef

2020

by Danny Ramadan and Anna Bron

"Newcomer Salma and friends cook up a heartwarming dish to cheer up Mama. All Salma wants is to make her mama smile again. Between English classes, job interviews, and missing Papa back in Syria, Mama always seems busy or sad. A homemade Syrian meal might cheer her up, but Salma doesn’t know the recipe, or what to call the vegetables in English, or where to find the right spices! Luckily, the staff and other newcomers in her Welcome Home are happy to lend a hand—and a sprinkle of sumac. With creativity, determination, and charm, Salma brings her new friends together to show Mama that even though things aren’t perfect, there is cause for hope and celebration. Syrian culture is beautifully represented through the meal Salma prepares and Anna Bron’s vibrant illustrations, while the diverse cast of characters speaks to the power of cultivating community in challenging circumstances." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Cross Group

Solar Story

2020

by Allan Drummond

"A timely nonfiction STEM picture book about the largest solar power plant in the world and its impact on a nearby village. In his signature accessible picture-book nonfiction style, Allan Drummond tells the story of the Noor solar power plant in Morocco's Sahara desert by relating it to the everyday life of a schoolgirl in a small village next to the plant. As we see on a class field trip, the plant is not only bringing reliable power to the village and far beyond, but is providing jobs, changing lives, and upending the old ways of doing things--starting within the girl's own family. Blending detail-filled watercolors, engaging cartoon-style narration, sidebars, and an afterword, the author showcases another community going green in amazing ways." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Informational

The Day Saida Arrived

2020

by Susana Gómez Redondo and Sonja Wimmer

"Two girls forge a forever-friendship by learning each other’s language. The Day Saida Arrived demonstrates the power of language to build bonds beyond borders. What happens when a new friend arrives who doesn’t speak your language? A young girl searches for the words to help her friend feel welcome and happy in her new home, and along the way learns about differences and similarities in countries and words. The two forge a strong bond while they each learn the other’s language, exploring the world around them. A joyous, lyrical text—including English translations and pronunciations and the complete Arabic alphabet—offers an accessible, fresh approach to talking about immigration. Paired with lushly vivid illustrations, The Day Saida Arrived demonstrates the power of language to build bonds beyond borders. Printed on FSC-certified paper with vegetable-based inks." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Cross Group

Brave with beauty

2019

by Maxine Rose Schur

This is the extraordinary story of Queen Goharshad, a 15th-century monarch, who many historians now believe was the one of the most powerful women in world history. Ruling from the Timurid artistic and cultural center of Herat in western Afghanistan, Queen Goharshad ushered in a remarkable period when poetry, music, calligraphy, painting, and the sciences flourished as never before. A poet and an architect, she designed some of the most beautiful structures ever built on earth. --publisher

Biography

Daniel and Ismail / Daniel ve-Ismaʼil / Dānyīl wa-Ismā’īl

2019

by Juan Pablo Iglesias and Alex Peris

"A one-of-a-kind, uplifting picture book about a Jewish boy and a Palestinian boy who bond on the soccer field—translated into English, Hebrew, and Arabic. Daniel and Ismail, one Jewish and the other Palestinian, don’t know each other yet, but they have more in common than they know. They live in the same city and have the same birthday, and this year they get the same presents: a traditional scarf—for Daniel a tallit and for Ismail a keffiyeh—and a soccer ball. Taking their gifts out for a spin, they meet by chance on a soccer field, and they soon begin to play together and show off the tricks they can do. They get so absorbed in the fun that they lose track of time and mix up their gifts: Daniel picks up Ismail's keffiyeh and Ismail takes Daniel's tallit. When they get home and discover their mistake, their parents are shocked and angry, asking the boys if they realize who wears those things. That night, Daniel and Ismail have nightmares about what they have seen on the news and heard from adults about the other group. But the next day, they find each other in the park and get back to what really matters: having fun and playing the game they both love. Daniel and Ismail is a remarkable multilingual picture book that confronts the very adult conflicts that kids around the world face, and shows us that different cultures, religions, societies, and languages can all share the same page." -- publisher

Cross Group

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