Six-year-old Bilal introduces his friends to his favorite dish—daal!—in this charming picture book that showcases the value of patience, teamwork, community, and sharing. Six-year-old Bilal is excited to help his dad make his favorite food of all-time: daal! The slow-cooked lentil dish from South Asia requires lots of ingredients and a whole lot of waiting. Bilal wants to introduce his friends to daal. They’ve never tried it! As the day goes on, the daal continues to simmer, and more kids join Bilal and his family, waiting to try the tasty dish. And as time passes, Bilal begins to wonder: Will his friends like it as much as he does? This debut picture book by Aisha Saeed, with charming illustrations by Anoosha Syed, uses food as a means of bringing a community together to share in each other’s family traditions.
This is a great book to help introduce kids to new cuisine, and the idea that even though some food (or something else) may be foreign to them, and even initially seem or smell a bit funny or different… it might actually be delicious. The twinges of anxiety that Bilal feels about how his friends will react to the daal (will they like it as much as he does?!) give us a chance to feel empathy for those who are different than us as well.
Hi, my name is Anoosha Syed!
I’m a Pakistani-Canadian freelance illustrator + character designer for animation, based in Toronto.
I graduated with a BFA in Illustration at Ceruleum: Ecole d’arts Visuels in Lausanne, Switzerland.
I also co-host a podcast called The Art Corner.