The Night Before Eid: A Muslim Family Story

by Aya Khalil (Author) Rashin Kheiriyeh (Illustrator)

The Night Before Eid: A Muslim Family Story
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Celebrate the end of Ramadan with this luminous Muslim family story about faith, history, and delicious foods.

On the night before Eid, it's finally time to make special sweet treats: Teita's famous ka'ak. Zain eagerly unpacks the ingredients from his grandmother's bulky suitcase: ghee from Khalo Karim, dates from Amo Girgis, and honey from Tant Tayseer--precious flavors all the way from Egypt. Together with Mama and Teita, Zain follows his family's recipe and brings to life Eid songs and prayers, pharaonic history, and the melodies and tastes of his Egyptian heritage.

This Muslim holiday story, featuring a delicious ka'ak recipe, is a satisfying addition to a joyful and expansive Eid.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
A beautiful story of joy, tradition, and family.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2--Zain's Teita (Grandma) has just arrived from Egypt and is going to teach him how to make ka'ak, the sweet Eid cookie. The little boy plans to bring the treats to school the next day and share them with his classmates. He is hopeful they will be a hit. As they mix the dough, Teita and his mom tell Zain all about their Eid celebrations back in Egypt; these are beautifully conveyed by illustrations of families staying up all night baking and then distributing the delicacies to family and friends the next morning. As they continue to shape and mold the cookies, there is one moment of panic when Zain drops the mold and is sure he has ruined everything. Luckily, Teita is kind and talks to him about practicing patience. All ends well as Zain himself comes up with a way to rectify it. The next day arrives, and his classmates love the delectable cookies and even ask for the recipe. Not only is there lots to learn from this tale but there is also plenty for young ones to see; the illustrations are done in cozy hues of pink, teal, orange, and black by award-winning illustrator Kheiriyeh. Children will delight in spying Zain's mischievous black-and-white cat, who is a vital part of the action. Back matter includes a recipe and pictures of the author and her family, as well as an explanation of Eid. VERDICT A solid and worthwhile purchase.--Amy Nolan

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Christy Ottaviano Books-Little Brown and Hachette
Publication date
March 07, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV050000 - Juvenile Fiction | Cooking & Food
JUV017090 - Juvenile Fiction | Holidays & Celebrations | Other, Religious
JUV033270 - Juvenile Fiction | Religious | Muslim
JUV074000 - Juvenile Fiction | Diversity & Multicultural
JUV030130 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Middle Eastern & Arab American
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Family life
Egyptian Americans
AId al-Fiotr

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