Friday, January 25, 2013

Nabeel's New Pants

Nabeel's New Pants: An Eid Tale is a prequel to Joseph's Little Overcoat next week... a delightful tale of good intentions going awry with a questionable result. Here is the review from School Library Journal, the premier source for making decisions about which books will grace our collection:

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 2—Nabeel's dilemma with his new pants is a familiar sort of predicament borne by simple, good-hearted folks in many strains of folklore. He's a shoemaker whose business has gone well on the eve of Eid, the holiday culminating Ramadan. Purchasing gifts for his family, he also buys new pants to replace his patched trousers. However, they are "four fingers too long." Though his wife, mother, and grown daughter are appreciative of the finery he has bought for them, all are too busy with holiday preparations to shorten the pants. Roy's cheerful folk views, the figures drawn in ink and painted in warm tones of gold, brown, green, and blue, pair beautifully with the economical, repetitive scheme, which soon becomes predictable. Nabeel shortens the pants himself, only to be followed by the three women, each of whom cuts off four inches and hems them again in gratitude for his goodness. The author and illustrator are both from India; the tale is ostensibly Turkish and is sprinkled with Arabic terms, listed in an opening glossary. A fine choice for read-aloud fun, the story is a simple introduction to Muslim culture that will evoke empathetic chuckles when the mishap is discovered as Nabeel dons his knee-length pants on the morning of Eid. The damage is soon repaired in a tale that will pair nicely with Simms Taback's Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (Viking, 1999) and countless other tales of shoemakers and tailors or domestic errors.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston