Muslims in Kidlit Friday: The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania

Another lunch-related picture book! This one is by Queen Rania of Jordan, inspired by one of her own childhood memories. Experiencing new foods and food-related traditions is, in my opinion, one of the great joys of traveling abroad and/or making friends from different backgrounds than yours.

The Sandwich SwapThe Sandwich Swap by Rania Al Abdullah

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My thoughts: Salma and Lily do everything together, until one day lunchtime differences come between them. After calling each other’s sandwiches — one hummus, one PB&J — gross, the feud spreads to their classmates and sparks an all-out food fight, leaving Salma and Lily to clean up the mess in the cafeteria and their friendship.
This book has a positive cross-cultural message, which of course I like. I also like that instead of one character being ostracized for an unusual lunch, the two characters are already friends. The small comment that leads to an out-sized fight is something so common in childhood. Luckily, kids are also capable of moving past such spats and treating each other better, as Salma and Lily show.

Other things to read this week: The Unleashing Readers blog this week has a list of of “Books to Deepen Our Understanding of the Countries on the #MuslimBan List.” The post includes one book for each of the 7 countries in Trump’s executive order.

Two picture books about … Girls who dared

2 pic books

You know how a lot of people have been binge-watching TV shows like “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix? Well, I’ve been binge-reading books by Shana Corey.

That’s because she writes about “old-time gals with gumption.”

Who doesn’t love an old-time gal with gumption?

Okay, maybe kids who love truck books and the like, but the description applies to many of my beloved children’s book characters, like Anne Shirley. Continue reading

Explore with me!

Hi! I’m Kara, and I’m an aspiring children’s author with a particular interest in books portraying world cultures and social justice themes. I’ve been working on my own picture books for a few years but this year I’ve  committed to the pursuit in a much bigger way. In doing so, I realized that I need to read lots more books like the ones I want to write for several reasons:

  • to improve my craft
  • to know what’s on the market
  • to better understand how picture books work
  • to enjoy and recommend them!

As I explore this world of social justice-oriented kids books, I’m going to document some of what discover. Blogs posts will include, among other things:

  • book reviews (mostly of picture books, but also middle grade and young adult and maybe occasionally adult books)
  • information on bloggers, publishing houses, organizations and others promoting diverse and social-justice themed kids’ books
  • author interviews
  • relevant news and updates

And more!

Eventually, I hope this site will serve as an author website where I can share information about my own books, but in the meantime I invite you to explore with me. Just climb aboard my pirate ship. I promise we won’t get lost at sea. (Usually.)


Oh yeah, got any good book recommendations?