“An upbeat read promoting diversity and inclusion with a fun holiday theme.”
On Musa’s first day at kindergarten, he didn’t know any of his other classmates. His wise teacher announces to the class that throughout the year, they’ll each be sharing their favorite day of the year and celebrating with one another, and that by the end of the year they will all be close friends. Though Musa is hesitant at first, he and the rest of his class enjoy sharing and celebrating together their favorite days, like Eid Al-Fitr, Rosh Hashanah, Pi Day, and Las Posadas. As each child shares about their favorite day, the rest of the class can see why it’s their favorite. At the end of the school year, the teacher gives each student a calendar with all of their favorite days on it to celebrate and remember one another. As a book in the genre of inclusion, this story stands out in it’s choice to focus on an appealing subject to children—their favorite day of the year—to help them get acquainted with other cultures and families. Ali’s story develops naturally, educationally, and enjoyably without feeling contrived, and Bell’s interesting illustrations perfectly enhance the celebration of diversity portrayed through the story. The holidays shared don’t focus much on the religious aspect, but rather the celebratory rituals and traditions accompanying a holiday, though a variety of religious holidays are shared. Musa’s back-to-school experience will reassure anxious children and the holidays included will expand interest in learning about different cultures.
A heartwarming picture book following a group of boys from different backgrounds throughout the school year as they become the best of friends.
Musa’s feeling nervous about his first day of school. He’s not used to being away from home and he doesn’t know any of the other kids in his class. And when he meets classmates Moisés, Mo, and Kevin, Musa isn’t sure they’ll have much in common. But over the course of the year, the four boys learn more about each other, the holidays they celebrate, their favorite foods, and what they like about school. The more they share with each other, the closer they become, until Musa can’t imagine any better friends.
In this charming story of friendship and celebrating differences, young readers can discover how entering a new friendship with an open mind and sharing parts of yourself brings people together. And the calendar of holidays at the end of the book will delight children as they identify special events they can celebrate with friends throughout the year.
What is your favorite day of the year? Do you know what is your friends’ favorite day?
How did you make your best friend or friends?
How do you celebrate your favorite day? How do your friends celebrate their favorite day?
What do you like about your favorite day of the year? What do you like about your friend’s favorite day of the year? Do you like to make a list of yours and your friend’s favorite days?
What a fun way to look at different cultures! Giving exposure to four different cultures through their “favorite days” is a reminder to look with empathy and understanding at those around us.
Rahele Jomepour Bell is an illustrator of picture books. She culturally is from Iran and happily enjoys adding American culture to her origin. She believes all people share a common home in planet Earth, but may differ in their skin color, way of life, and their thinking. She loves these differences and believes this is what makes the world a beautiful place to live.
Rahele Jomepour Bell discusses Our Favorite Day of the Year on The Children’s Book Podcast