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Come out to a special storytime with author Aya Khalil. Her picture book follows an Egyptian-American girl who learns to appreciate her second language, Arabic, after a class project intended to celebrate everyone's identity.
About the Book
Kanzi's family recently moved from Egypt to America, and on her first day in a new school, what she wants more than anything is to fit in. Maybe that's why she forgets to take the kofta sandwich for lunch, but that backfires when Mama shows up at school with the sandwich. Mama wears a hijab and calls her daughter Habibti (dear one). When she leaves, the teasing starts.
That night, Kanzi wraps herself in the beautiful Arabic quilt her teita (grandma) in Cairo gave her and writes a poem in Arabic about the quilt. Next day her teacher sees the poem and gets the entire class excited about creating a "quilt" (a paper collage) of student names in Arabic. In the end, Kanzi's most treasured reminder of her old home provides a pathway for acceptance in her new one.
About the Author
Aya Khalil is a freelance journalist and educator. She holds a master's degree in Education with a focus in Teaching English as a Second Language. THE ARABIC QUILT is based on true events growing up, when she immigrated to the US from EGYPT at the age of one with her older brother and parents. Her articles have been published in The Huffington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The Post & Courier, Toledo Area Parent, and more. She's been featured in Yahoo!, Teen Vogue, Book Riot and more. She lives in Toledo with her husband and three children. Visit www.ayakhalil.com for more information.
About the Illustrator
The illustrator is Anait Semirdzhayan, who lives in the Seattle area with her husband and children. The Arabic Quilt is the fifth picture book she has illustrated.