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Amira's Picture Day

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Ramadan has come to an end, and Amira can't wait to stay home from school to celebrate Eid. There's just one hiccup: it's also school picture day. How can Amira be in two places at once?

Just the thought of Eid makes Amira warm and tingly inside. From wearing new clothes to handing out goody bags at the mosque, Amira can't wait for the festivities to begin. But when a flier on the fridge catches her eye, Amira's stomach goes cold. Not only is it Eid, it's also school picture day. If she's not in her class picture, how will her classmates remember her? Won't her teacher wonder where she is?

Though the day's celebrations at the mosque are everything Amira was dreaming of, her absence at picture day weighs on her. A last-minute idea on the car ride home might just provide the solution to everything in this delightful story from acclaimed author Reem Faruqi, illustrated with vibrant color by Fahmida Azim.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published April 13, 2021

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Reem Faruqi

13 books162 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 149 reviews
Profile Image for Abigail.
7,175 reviews187 followers
June 18, 2022
When Amira discovers that Eid has fallen on her class's Picture Day at school, the young Muslim-American girl is crestfallen. She had been looking forward to both! Now, attending the special service at her masjid (mosque), she can't help but feel that she is missing out on an important part of her school life. Fortunately, as she and her family are heading home, inspiration strikes, and she has an idea about what they can do with the leftover goody bags, from the Eid celebration...

Arab-American children's author Reem Faruqi, who previously explored the subject of Ramadan in her Lailah's Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story , returns in Amira's Picture Day to the theme of young people and their involvement in Muslim traditions and holidays. Having enjoyed that earlier book, I was glad to discover this more recent one, and ended up finding it quite engaging. The story offers a gentle, sympathetic portrait of a young girl struggling to reconcile her familial and religious life with her school one, while the colorful digital artwork from Fahmida Azim, ably captures the emotional ups and downs of that story. There were times that I found the visuals here just a tad too cartoonish for my taste, but then, there were also times I found them quite appealing. All in all, a welcome new addition to the growing body of picture-books about young children during the Muslim holidays. Recommended to anyone seeking such stories in general, or set at Eid (Eid-al-Fitr) specifically.
Profile Image for Omar Abed.
Author 2 books8 followers
April 13, 2021
Amira's Picture Day provides a welcome mirror for American Muslims, or Muslims in any country where Eid is not a recognized holiday. I definitely felt the nostalgia as I read and reflected on my own experience. Reem does a great job of showing how being Muslim in America can be balanced, rather than either-or. And I can't go without mentioning how the colors popped in this beautifully-illustrated story.
Profile Image for Ashley.
1,437 reviews20 followers
May 30, 2021
This book is much-needed! It fills a gap in children's stories that reflect Eid but aren't all about teaching others what Eid is about (though they will learn a lot). It seems like the primary audience is Muslim kids, but it's also just a good story about being anxious to miss picture day even when it's for something fun. And non-Muslim kids will learn a bit about Eid. It's got great illustrations, and I know it sounds like faint praise but honestly it is visually appealing and not boring, which is a hard find in any picture book about a holiday. Very well done. Happy to have this in our collection at the library.
Profile Image for Mindy Alyse Weiss.
135 reviews17 followers
May 7, 2021
I loved learning about Eid! The mehndi designs and shalwar kameez are incredible.

Amira’s issue is so relatable. As someone who missed important school days for religious holidays as a child, I felt for Amira and hope books like this will help schools try to plan events on days that don’t conflict with holidays.
Profile Image for samihah ★.
213 reviews34 followers
July 15, 2021
so cute 🥺🥺 and relatable as a Muslim living in a non-Muslim country. I never had picture day on the same day as Eid, but I know I probably wouldn't have wanted to miss it when I was Amira's age.

I just read this aloud to my second grade students, and they really enjoyed it too. The illustrations are also super gorgeous ❤️.
Profile Image for Wendy Kendall.
Author 4 books65 followers
April 13, 2021
Have you ever wanted to be in two places at the same time? Amira thinks that she's caught between celebrating a beloved holiday, or joining her classmates for class picture day at school. She doesn't want to miss being in Ms. Bailey's class' picture, but how could she ever miss the joy and tradition of Eid. Is there a way Amira can do both?

From this delightful young readers' story, it's noted that Muslims celebrate Eid two times a year. The first Eid of the year is known as Eid al-Fitr. It occurs at the end of the month of Ramadan, the month in which Muslims fast from before sunrise to sunset. The second Eid of the year is called Eid al-Adha. It celebrates the completion of the Hajj pilgrimage. Although only pilgrims in Makkah participate in Hajj, Muslims around the world join them in celebrating Eid al-Adha.

Amira is in a dilemma. She's so excited to celebrate Eid. She shares in her story all the fun traditions and the warm joys of getting together with friends and family for the events at the mosjid, the mosque or place of worship. As much as she likes school and her friends there, it's fun to have a special holiday away for a day. But Amira will also miss her friends at school for this very special day when they all take a picture together that they'll treasure for years to come. Can she find a way to participate in both? Maybe she can even find a way to share a part of her Eid joy with her classmates.

Amira's Picture Day is a story that shows a happy family that is exciting to learn more about. It's always fun to meet new people and learn about them, whether in books or in person. Through Amira you'll also get to meet her friends too.

The author brings these families to life in a way that jumps off the page. It's such a great mix of storytelling that's intermingled information of true life. Working together in telling the story are vivid, colorful, and memorable illustrations. Young readers will certainly enjoy these attention-getting pictures on every page that capture details and tone and the heart of the text.

Award winning author Reem Faruqi enjoys writing lyrical stories that reflect her own experiences. She has taught second grade, and her favorite time was Read Aloud Time. She also enjoys reading with her daughters at home. She moved to Georgia from Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates when she was thirteen years old. You can see her photoblog at www.reemfaruqi.com.

Fahmida Azim is an illustrator and storyteller. She and her art have been seen in The New York Times, NPR, Glamour, and more. She has illustrated a number of books including her own Muslim Women Are Everything. She enjoys drawing real people living extraordinary lives and fictional people living beautifully ordinary lives. Originally from Bangladesh, Fahmida now lives and creates in Seattle, Washington.
Profile Image for Deborah.
Author 13 books192 followers
June 9, 2021
Kids will enjoy learning about Eid through this well-told story. And there are so many Amiras in the US, children who celebrate holidays not acknowledged by our dominant culture, and who struggle with conflicted feelings about their heritage because of that—this book will help them be seen and feel seen.
Profile Image for Lynn.
3,220 reviews60 followers
May 13, 2021
Beautifully illustrated picture book about a young girl who celebrates Eid and has to miss Picture Day at school because of it. She’s torn between celebrations of Eid and getting her class photo taken.
Profile Image for Anthony.
5,612 reviews26 followers
May 8, 2021
The celebration of Eid falls on the same day as Amira's picture day at her school. She has been looking forward to taking her class picture, but the arrival of the moon to dictate the end of Ramadan, and celebrate Eid seems to have caused a conflict in Amira's world. Will she be able to celebrate and honor her cultural tradition, and take a class photo?
Profile Image for Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow.
Author 8 books151 followers
February 13, 2022
Such a sweet and charming story about a girl celebrating Eid when it also happens to be picture day at school. I love that it illuminates the experience of celebrating a holiday as a religious minority when everyone else is unaware of it and continuing with business (or in this case, school) as usual. It is also a cool, unique take on an Eid story. Like other Eid books, we get to see the excitement of Eid (Faruqi’s poetic prose and Azim’s colorful illustrations do a great job of this) but through a story with other interesting layers. I think kids in general will have fun with this story and Muslim kids will feel a real connection to it.
Profile Image for Shans Sagas.
225 reviews3 followers
September 20, 2023
I like to make sure I read my daughter stories about girls who have different cultures and backgrounds as her, this was so cute — Amira got the best of both worlds and had a great day

The art was cute too
Profile Image for Becky.
183 reviews2 followers
April 19, 2021
I love this story! My four kids (ages 3-10) were enraptured and in suspense the whole time about what would happen. Amira is instantly likeable and as she toggles between excitement about an important holiday and longing for a special event at school; she is easy to identify with and cheer for.

As we read my kids had questions about some of the words unfamiliar to them (like shalwar kameez, mehndi, masjid, Baba) and enjoyed puzzling out what they were with context clues and the glossary. There is also an author's note with more information about Eid that is a helpful teaching tool.

Teachers could use this as a mentor text to teach narrative writing, sensory details, figurative language, and how to write emotions. Some of my favorite lines were: "Amira smiled small." and "Each leg felt like a wobbly tower of blocks."

The end pages and illustrations are also gorgeous and expressive. Kids will love poring over the many details and intricate clothing and mehndi designs.
Profile Image for Pine Reads Review.
482 reviews11 followers
August 19, 2021
“Her new Eid shalwar kameez hung nearby. Suddenly, she spotted the pink-striped Picture Day dress. The more Amira thought of Picture Day, the longer she took to get dressed.”

Eid has arrived and Amira is ecstatic for a day off from school to celebrate with her family. Amira, her parents, and her little brother will spend the morning meeting with other Muslims in their community at the masjid, or mosque, for a special Eid prayer. Amira is thrilled at the thought of a fancy new outfit, delicious treats, and the many festivities she has to look forward to tomorrow. But suddenly, that excitement turns to panic when Amira realizes that she will be missing school Picture Day! Fearful that her classmates won’t remember her if she’s missing from the class photo, Amira must use her cleverness to come up with a way to both celebrate with her community and participate in Picture Day.

This sweet, colorful picture book left me with nothing but warm feelings. Amira was put in a difficult position at the beginning of the book, caught between two events that were important to her, and I was relieved to see her resolution at the end. Amira solved her dilemma with kindness and even additional thoughtfulness for her classmates while also still being able to enjoy an important cultural event with her family. Besides just being a candid story, this is a wonderful book to introduce Eid to non-Muslim readers of any age. Reem Faruqi has managed to smoothly interweave facts about the holiday with Amira’s story while Fahmida Azim’s vibrant art style kept the whole book feeling exciting and upbeat. Azim’s illustrations were warm and incredibly detailed, making me spend twice as long as usual studying each page! For a vivid, heartfelt story about making a tough choice, pick up a copy of Amira’s Picture Day.

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Profile Image for Jackie L.
20 reviews
June 7, 2022
Amira’s Picture Day by Reem Faruqi is a story about a Muslim American girl who is excited to celebrate Eid at the end of Ramadan. However, during her excitement she realizes that she will miss picture day at school due to the Eid celebration at the masjid. While her parents try to reassure her that it will be alright, she is distraught that her peers will not remember her if she is not there for picture day. Amira attends the Eid celebration with her family and enjoys herself throughout the day. Towards the end of the celebration, she has the great idea of taking her leftover gift bags to her classmates, and also hopes to make it in time for picture day. Amira arrives just in time for picture day with her peers and even gets to wear her beautiful kameez to represent her Muslim American heritage.

I found this book using the Wakelet provided by this course. According to the ALSC, this is a Notable Children’s Book for 2022. A search with Barnes and Noble also listed numerous accolades for this story including CSMCL Children’s Book of the Year in 2021. The beautiful and bright colors throughout this picturebook immerse readers in the jolly theme of the story. The illustrator used various tricks of light to portray different moods throughout. For example, when Amira was torn between missing picture day or the Eid celebration, the illustrations were a bit darker than the rest of the book.

According to our course textbook, there are two categories of contemporary realistic fiction present. First, this is a book about self-discovery. Amira learns that she can have the best of both her dual-culture worlds when she realizes she is completely accepted and loved by her peers while representing her Muslim culture in her kameez. Second, this book is about family diversity that represents a stable nuclear family. Her parents and brothers each play an active role in her life and her mother is a strong role-model for her daughter. She was very warm and considerate when Amira was concerned about missing picture day.

This book is most appropriate for primary students ages 4 - 8. There are many great discussion points about diversity and acceptance in the story. For example, there is a pivotal illustration in the story showing Amira standing in between her Picture Day dress and her Eid shalwar kameez. Amira’s face is clearly distraught as you see her torn between her dual-cultures. Should she be upset to wear her kameez because she is missing picture day? Should she be upset to wear her Picture Day dress because she is missing the Eid celebration with her family? This is a great discussion point to have with students of all ages.

Amira’s Picture Day is such a sweet story and a must read!
Profile Image for Alicia.
6,225 reviews124 followers
July 15, 2021
Bowled-over by how gorgeous and fun this picture book by Faruqi is.

Amira is the best main character- she's a cheerful Muslim American girl who is excited about Eid but also picture day at school so when she has to miss school for celebration at the mosque it also means that she can't wear the adorable pink dress she had ready for picture day. But she's got something better, her shalwar kameez for Eid (which is her finest outfit) and the family takes a detour after celebrations and are just in time to have Amira pose for her school picture.

The colors are rich and inviting. Amira's effervescent smile are delightful. And the story gives you the warm-and-fuzzies all over.

Not only does it capture school community, but a religious community and family life.
Profile Image for Tracie .
454 reviews27 followers
May 16, 2021
Very colorful story exploring Amira who wants to celebrate the Muslim celebration of Eid but who also wants to participate in class picture day. This story did a great job of exploring Eid to readers who may be unfamiliar with the traditions, food and clothing. The story also did a good job of exploring the difficulty in straddling two different cultures. I'm really happy to see more books exploring different people and different traditions. I think this is wonderful for all kids to read and learn about groups different to themselves.
Profile Image for Mary.
2,718 reviews11 followers
September 17, 2021
Amria has been counting the days until Eid. She will miss school for a day of prayers and festivities at the masjid. When she finds out it is the day her class picture is taken, she is distressed to not be in the group picture. Faruqi does a great job explaining the significance of the day and capturing that conflicting emotions a child has about wanting two things at the same time. A wonderful story that can be used to introduce the Eid celebration. This will also be a great book to pair with either Barney Salzberg's Crazy Hair Day or Lynn Plourde's School Picture Day.
Profile Image for Aya Khalil.
Author 9 books87 followers
April 18, 2021
This brand new picture book by Reem Faruqi brought me back to all the Ramadan/eid memories when I attended public school. The relevance and authenticity is incredible. How many of us have had to choose between attending Eid celebration or going to school for an important event (in this case it was picture day)? The illustrations by Fahmida are SO good and the facial expressions the best. Perfect Ramadan / Eid picture book so get a copy from your library or local book store.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
861 reviews6 followers
April 28, 2021
Reem Faruqi’s Amira’s Picture Day explores the struggle of straddling two cultures as Amira’s heart is torn between two dresses--her pink striped Picture Day dress and her shalwar kameez for Eid. Much to Amira’s delight, she discovers that she doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have to choose; she can celebrate both. This vibrantly illustratrated picture book opens children’s, parents’, teachers’, and librarians’ eyes to the beauty and significance of the Muslim holiday of Eid--a must read for all classrooms but especially those in homogeneous America. Eid Mubarak!
Profile Image for Kim Esmael.
130 reviews
March 8, 2023
Wonderful story with beautiful illustrations! Includes a glossary of terms at the end. Great way to introduce non-Muslim children to the holiday of Eid.
Profile Image for Gayatri Sethi Desi Book Aunty .
110 reviews29 followers
April 14, 2021
A heartwarming book! Perfect for gifting & reading aloud with students & class. The illustrations are especially endearing & I adore this book.
Profile Image for Liesl.
176 reviews1 follower
May 11, 2021
A really cute book, about celebrating our different religions, uniqueness, and making it all work. The illustrations were wonderful too.
Profile Image for Amanda.
3,785 reviews33 followers
April 30, 2021
So many beautiful things about this book. The illustrations are lovely and do make Amira look like a princess. The writing captures perfectly the feelings of being stuck in the middle and not being happy in either place. The resolution is perfect, and for those of us who are unfamiliar with Eid nothing is overly explained or pedantic in the telling of the story. Everything unfolds to better show Amira's world. (The author's note and glossary at the end are helpful.)
Profile Image for Kirin.
486 reviews30 followers
January 20, 2021
This book is the mirror so many kids are desperate to find in literature. A young Muslim girl is excited to celebrate Eid, while at the same time is sad knowing she is missing school picture day with her class. Not knowing what day Eid will be, not having it a scheduled day off in most school districts, and always feeling like you have your foot in two different doors starts early for children in non Muslim majority countries. This early picture book touches on those emotions, and even if you can't always get a test rescheduled or a project due date moved, at least readers that face these dilemmas at any age and stage in life, will feel seen in this 32 page book perfect for ages 5 and up.

Amira and her little brother Ziyad start the book looking out the window for the moon. They see it, which means Eid is tomorrow and Amira is going to have her mom put decorative Mehndi on her hands. She has her mom include a dolphin in the green swirls and hopes that by morning the color will be dark and beautiful. Ziyad is excited that they get to skip school.

Mom recruits the two kids to make goody bags and count out lollipops for the kids at the masjid, when the flyer for picture day catches Amira's attention. Devastated that she will miss the class picture having already picked out a pink-striped dress for the occasion, mom reassures her that she will get to wear her new shalwar kameez, and they will take lots of pictures at the masjid.

Amira loves going for prayers and the party after, but she is kept awake at night worrying how her classmates will remember her if she isn't in the picture. The next morning she is excited, it is Eid, but seeing her pink dress hanging next to her blue Eid outfit makes getting dressed a heavy process.
When they get to the masjid, Amira hardly recognizes it, it is all decorated and everyone looks beautiful. The smell of baked goods makes focusing on her prayers difficult, and after when everyone is taking pictures she remembers what she is missing and feels deflated.

On the way home Amira works to hold back the tears, when she suddenly has an idea to take the remaining goody bags to her classmates, and maybe catch her class pictures. Her parents agree and they stop at the school.

I won't spoil if she made it in time, but the kids in her class love her clothes, and her mehndi designs. The book concludes with an Author's Note, More about Eid and a Glossary.

I absolutely love the illustrations, little Amira is infectious and endearing. I wish the mom would have been a little more in tune with Amira's feelings though, she definitely is upset and while I'm glad the family stopped after the Eid party, I feel like more could have been done beforehand to acknowledge Amira's feelings, and see what could be done to accommodate both activities.

I love the diversity and brightness of the book to convey the absolute joy and happiness of Eid outside of presents. I think the book works for all children of all backgrounds and is a much needed addition to the repetitive Eid books available.
Profile Image for Sofia Mahmood.
41 reviews
October 26, 2021
I absolutely loved this book! I finally found a character that was me as a little kid. Excited for Eid in elementary school was a feeling like no other! I loved how it showed Amira and her mother getting ready for Eid the night before made me feel the excitement I used to feel as a little kid. I also love how it showed Amira in her Eid outfit because, honestly, as a little kid I used to feel ashamed of mine because the kids at school did not really know what Eid was. I also love how it showed Amira in the Masjid on Eid morning. Worth the read!
Profile Image for Mike.
13 reviews
May 1, 2021
Very cute and warm illustrations! A wonderful book!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 149 reviews

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