The Very Best Doughnut; Randa Abdel-Fattah, illustrated by Amani Haydar; 29 Things You Didn’t Know About Me; Solli Raphael, illustrated by Olana Janfa
The Very Best Doughnut and 29 Things You Didn’t Know About Me are lovely additions to Pan Macmillan’s Our Stories series that celebrates Australia’s rich and diverse culture and acknowledges the First Nation’s lands.
For third grader Adam, Friday is the absolute best day of the week as Friday means a doughnut. And today mum has the most scrumptious looking pink-iced doughnut complete with sprinkles. It will be the perfect snack to eat at recess. Except today Adam wants to join his family in fasting for Ramadan which means no eating or drinking until the sun sets. With a grumbling belly and a doughnut begging to be eaten can Adam last the whole day or will hunger get the better of him…
Second graders Lucas and Franco may have only known each for a short while but their friendship is blossoming. Both are excited for a sleepover and the chance to get to know each other even better. Will Lucas love to rhyme as much as Franco does? Will they bond or fall out over adventures, dinosaurs and painting? And most important of all, will they both like tacos…
Family, friendship and the wonderful everyday lives and experiences of children are the stars in these highly accessible stories. Inclusive and diverse, funny and relatable, these stories are incredibly valuable. Whether children see themselves in the stories or they provide a window into the lives of others, the sweet and charming reads perfectly capture the different experiences of family life and childhood. Large spaced-out print, plenty of illustrations and short chapters make these highly accessible and engaging stories perfect for sharing together.
I wrote the following words in my review of the first two titles in the series, Maku and When Granny Came to Stay, and I think they are definitely worth reiterating. If we want children to grow up with an understanding of and a willingness to acknowledge and embrace their culture and heritage then they need stories like these that begin to educate and inform. The authors have lovingly wrapped up beliefs, traditions, customs and values into the most delightful and accessible of little packages.
With huge thanks to Pan Macmillan for the copies I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 4+.