Author: Noor, Nabela
Zubi, a happy Bangladeshi girl, is excited about her first day of school, but at breakfast she is puzzled by her mother and older sister worrying about being "too big," and even at school she hears other people criticizing each other's bodies, and she starts to worry that maybe something is wrong with how she looks--until her declaration at dinner that she is on a diet makes her family realize what they have been doing wrong.
|Ali, Nabi H.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 514583
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/01/21)
School Library Journal (09/20/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2021 On the first day of school, Zubi Chowdhury’s enthusiasm might only be matched by the exuberance of her new outfit, made specially for her in Bangladesh. But seemingly innocuous comments by her family about their growing girths make Zubi wonder if being plump is reason to worry. At school she soon forgets, making friends and enjoying her teacher until another unkind remark on the playground affirms Zubi’s fear. At home, her family notes her despondence, and after she tells them, they have some reflection to do. There’s much to like about this book: the representation of a Bengali family, the seamless inclusion of a nonbinary character, and the mirror it holds up to adults who should know how their words affect children. This contains a powerful message about how the seeds of prejudice are sown even within a kind and loving context and how adults can take responsibility and make amends for their actions. Brilliant colors and cheerful details in the illustrations keep the tone upbeat and the message of acceptance consistent. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2021 PreS-Gr 1—It is Zubi's first day of school. As she greets her family members, she is dismayed to hear her mother, sister, and father all bemoan the fact that they are too big or need to go on a diet. Zubi then witnesses a classmate at school being teased for being overweight and wonders to herself, "Why is looking fat bad?" Zubi internalizes the comment and returns home upset that she may become the target of teasing or criticism about her weight. Her family members assure her that, "Beauty is how you make people feel and the kind things you do." Despite the theme of body positivity, the message is heavy-handed and even contradictory, given the depiction of plump Zubi next to her traditionally pretty (and thin) sister Naya. Things are too neatly wrapped up as her family assures her that her name, which means "loving and understanding," will somehow translate to Zubi's having an easier time in a world not accustomed to acceptance of out-of-the-norm body types. The cartoon-like illustrations are exuberantly colorful; Zubi's family members have brown skin and wear a mix of Bangladeshi and Western clothing, while her classmates and teacher are shown as having diverse backgrounds. Back matter includes a glossary of Bengali terms. VERDICT This title is more for collections seeking strong depictions of a modern Bangladeshi family than it is a realistic look at body image.—Sue Morgan, Hillsborough City School District, Hillsborough, CA - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.