Hello, friends! Our book today is Our Favorite Day of the Year, written by A. E. Ali and illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell, a lovely tale of friendship and diversity.
On the first day of kindergarten, Ms. Gupta tells the class that by the end of the year, they will become close friends with their classmates – but Musa isn’t so sure. As a way to learn about their classmates, Ms. Gupta encourages them each to share their favorite day of the year. Discussing his own favorite, Eid, with his tablemates, Musa is surprised to find that they don’t celebrate Eid as well. As the year passes, each student shares their favorite day and how it is celebrated: Musa shares the many foods he eats during Eid from the members of his multicultural mosque; Mo shares the sweet treats of Rosh Hashanah; Moisés wishes “Feliz Navidad!” as he explains Las Posadas; Kevin recounts what his family learned on the science-centric Pi Day. By the end of the year, the class has learned about lots of different favorite days – and about their new best friends.
Wonderful. This rich look at cultural, religious, and racial diversity does a splendid job of introducing, through four highlighted holidays, the beauty and fun of immersing oneself in other cultures, as well as the friendships and respect for others it can build. In addition to the four holidays highlighted, many more are depicted in the warm and lovely artwork, as are other forms of diversity (Mo’s family is blended and LGBTQ+, Kevin’s ponytail and pink scrunchie suggest he is gender-nonconforming). So while the story on its own is a brief yet enriching read, these details encourage repeat readings and further research (the backmatter only features descriptions of the four holidays covered in the story). A fantastic tale of friendship, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)