|Shape of home|
Author: Kheiriyeh, Rashin
It's Rashin's first day of school in America! The new teacher asks each child to imagine the shape of home on a map. Rashin knows right away what she'll say: Iran looks like a cat! What will the other kids say?
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/21)
School Library Journal (+) (09/01/21)
Booklist (+) (10/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/01/2021 K-Gr 3—It's hard to find a more joyful take on the first day of school in a new country than that found in Kheiriyeh's new work, narrated by a small Iranian girl named, like the author, Rashin. Artfully recalling her old home, where the girls dressed in traditional garb resemble, sweetly, a carton of eggs, Rashin embraces everything new, from honey in plastic bear bottles to the city walk to school in the rain. In a school room full of children from all over the globe, their teacher, Mrs. Martin, explains her parents originally hail from the country of Benin, and shows them its shape—a flashlight. When it is Rachin's turn, she shows them that Iran is shaped like cat, and she meows. The shape of home, for all the children, is the warmth of sharing, without prejudice or mockery, and with an understanding that no matter where they are from, they are welcome in the here and now. The illustrations are verve-filled and colorful, in a New York City setting in which almost everyone is smiling. VERDICT As an ode to the idea of home, wherever that is and whatever that means, this is bliss. If all children had this kind of first day, who could predict what might happen next?—Kimberly Olson Fakih, School Library Journal - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/01/2021 *Starred Review* The concept of shapes serves as a unifying theme as Rashin excitedly prepares for her first day of school. She relishes the smiley-face pancakes her mother makes and the honey from a bottle that looks like a bear. As the family walks to school, they see many things along the way that translate into shapes—and memories, for Rashin, connecting her old home with her new one. Although Rashin is no longer wearing a headscarf, it was part of her school uniform in Iran and appears in the illustrations as she recalls funny adventures with her old friends. Once in her new bright, happy classroom, Rashin’s teacher asks the students to share bits of their backgrounds and starts the process by telling them that her grandparents came from Benin, a long, skinny country that looks like a flashlight. Juxtaposing colorful maps and flags of each country with a humorously similar shape keeps the tone light. Oil, acrylic, watercolor, pencils, pastels, and collage in exuberant illustrations give each child a unique look and allow for significant details such as differing hair textures. A warm and welcoming story about a group of children who may have come from other places but have found a classroom that is “shaped like a home.” - Copyright 2021 Booklist.