The Day Saida Arrived
The Day Saida Arrived

The Day Saida Arrived

Written by Susana Gómez Redondo & illustrated by Sonja Wimmer
3 - 7
Reading age
Page count
Lexile measure
Sep 15, 2020
Publication date

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What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

Illustrations like no other complement this fabulous and important tale about friendship, immigration, and empathy.

The thoughtful, nameless narrator empathetically wonders how she can help her new classmate Saida who arrived with tears and silence, having “lost all her words.” Immediately knowing they have a strong bond of friendship, she searches all around to help find Saida’s words, hoping to “untie her laughter, and her voice.” Displaying her youthful knowledge, she looks for Saida’s words anywhere she can—like under park benches and in the hollows of trees—until her parents wisely share where Saida is from (Morocco) and explain the language difference (Arabic). With this new understanding, the two girls grow in friendship while teaching each other the words of their homelands, hoping to visit Morocco together someday. Wimmer’s inventive illustrations take center stage and magnify the story’s important message of friendship, diversity, and empathy. Paired with poetic and thought-provoking narration, Saida’s emotional experience of immigration is marvelously shared in a child-friendly way that lays a foundation for family discussion. Young readers may have a harder time engaging with the longer text, though the beautiful example of empathetically welcoming diversity, the interesting and educative inclusion of Arabic, and the captivating illustrations are sure to impress. The final page ends the book on the perfect note, mirroring the reader’s experience, with the English translation of Saida’s name: Happy.

What Kind of Book is The Day Saida Arrived

Primarily about




Where Does This Book Stand Out

  • Inventive

    The “Inventive” badge is awarded to books that offer exceptionally original illustrations.


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The Creatives Behind the Book

What Has Susana Gómez Redondo Said About This Book

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What Has Sonja Wimmer Said About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date
September 15, 2020
Blue Dot Kids Press
Illustration Details
The illustrations in the book are hand-painted, using acrylic paint and crayons.
Page Count
Reading Age
3 - 7 years
Lexile® Level
Est. Fountas & Pinnell Level
Est. ATOS® Book Level

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Core Score - 90%

So, SO close to perfection!

Depth Score - 21%

Just the barebones.

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