Grandma Hekmatt Remembers:Arab-Am. Paperback – Jan 1 2003
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4--The relationship between three young Arab-American sisters and their grandmother is profiled in this series title. The narrative moves between scenes of the girls and their grandmother at home in New Jersey to Grandma Hekmatt's memories of her former home in Egypt. Glimpses of Arab culture are gleaned from scenes of various activities, such as belly dancing, baking kahek, and learning how to write in Arabic. Though the family's religion is not the focus of the book, they are shown attending services at a mosque and celebrating Ramadan. What starts out as an appealing concept, however, falls short. The text is stilted and uneven in places, and the many photographs have an amateurish look to them. The page layout, with a confusing blend of large and small fonts, interferes with the readability rather than enhancing it. Though there is certainly a need for more good children's literature on such underrepresented cultures, this title doesn't quite make the grade.--Sue Morgan, Tom Kitayama Elementary School, Union City, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Gr. 1-3. As in the six previous titles in their well-conceivedWhat Was It Like, Grandma? series, Morris and Linenthal once again usethe universal bond between children and grandmothers as a springboardto another culture. This time, the characters are Arab American girls,ranging in age from four to seven, and their grandma Hekmatt, whoseems as quick to laugh as she is to offer lessons in Arabic orstories about life back in Egypt. Seemingly candid photos recordplayful moments--impromptu belly dancing, making cookies--as well asserious ones, as when Grandma helps the girls don the hejab(headscarf) at their mosque. Following the series formula, oldphotos contribute to the sense of peeking inside an album, while acraft and tips section for exploring family history provides extensionactivities. Featuring immigrants more established in this country thanthe family in Bernard Wolf's Coming to America [BKL Ap 1 03], thisserves as a welcoming point of entry into a culture for whichpositive, humanizing representations are keenly needed. ((ReviewedDecember 15, 2003))Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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