“Once Upon An Eid,” edited by S.K Ali and Aisha Saeed, was a book that really gave you a taste of one of the biggest Muslim holidays, Eid (pronounced ‘eed’).
I’m not Muslim, and so learning about this holiday was new information to me. In the beginning of the book, it gives a little background information on Eid.
There are two Eids, one is Eid-ul-Fitr, and the other is Eid-ul-Adha. The stories in this book were told on Eid-ul-Fitr, which is the Eid celebration that ends Ramadan, a month of fasting.
All the stories had great voices, and my personal favorite was “Perfect,” by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow. “Perfect” was about two girls, Hawa who’s visiting, and Fanta who is trying to be a kind host, who didn’t have the perfect time together a few Eids ago. It involved jealousy and insults, so neither of the girls are happy to see each other, but Fanta is trying to be kind. I liked the humor of the story and the unexpected ending. It was full of voice.
Some other stories included Aya, who is the only Muslim in her class, and likes it, but decides that maybe it’s not all she thought it was; Deyana, who is on a road trip to Sydney for Eid, and stuck with her annoying siblings; and Yusuf, who is responsible for keeping the family Eid tradition alive: the brownies!
All the stories in this book illustrate different Muslim voices sharing what’s going on for them during this festive time.
Most of the stories end in an uplifting way, and they illustrate what this holiday is like for the Muslim children, from the taste of food after fasting, to bringing old traditions to life.
I feel that this book accomplished its goal, to allow all children, Muslim or not, to get a taste of the Muslim community’s biggest holiday. I felt like I was right there with them, experiencing an Eid, which is shocking, considering I never knew what Eid was before reading this book. They did a fabulous job to make all the stories feel real.