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Grandma Hekmatt Remembers : an Arab-American…

Grandma Hekmatt Remembers : an Arab-American Family Story

by Ann Morris, Peter Linenthal (Photographer/Illustrator)

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Grandma tells the grandkids about the old country (Egypt). They learn to dance, make paper boats, bake cookies and see artifacts (like a cool toy mosque that plays all five calls to prayer.) Includes historical photos.

Ages: 3-7
Source: Tacoma Public Library
  teapotic | Jun 9, 2016 |
I liked this book. I enjoyed the fact that real pictures of the family were used instead of drawn illustrations. What was even better was that the picture showed exactly what was going on in relation to the text so that you got a real understanding of what they were talking about. The author used textual features in a great way. The author uses different sizes to emphasize certain things and I really think this is effective for students because it will stand out to them. Also, I loved that the captions explained exactly what was going on in certain pictures. For example, there was a picture of the family and underneath the picture they listed the names of who was in the picture. I also like this book because it is interactive. There was a page in the book that had activities for children to do where they made something out of paper. In the back of the book there was a "special words & all about my family" section. I like this because it tells you how you can get to know your roots by interviewing your family, looking at family albums, and looking at your family tree. I also think the "special words" section is great because the author lists words of the Muslim culture and defines them. For example, hejab, koran, and mosque are all defined so we know what they are.

The big message for this story is to embrace your culture and always remember your roots. In the story, the author says, "Children are proud to be able to write and read in both English and Arabic." So, the family is not only working with the children to learn English, but they are also teaching them Arabic and keep up traditions within their culture. I think this says a lot about students from other countries today, coming to the United States. It is important to not only learn the English language, but to also keep up with your culture whether it is the language, traditions, or both. ( )
  LexaGoldbeck | Feb 15, 2015 |
3. A wonderful biography book called, “What Was It Like, Grandma? Grandma Hekmatt Remembers” touches the lives about Arab-American families. I loved this picture book because I gained a good quality of knowledge about Arab- American people. In my opinion, the book allows readers to broaden their perspectives of other culture, which I enjoyed. The language included both English and Arab terms to describe specific events, activities, and holidays, but it is clear and explanatory. For instance, two pages focused on baking in an Arab household provided step by step procedures through actual photographs. As a reader, I was able to easily grasp the steps to bake Arab cookies. A specific page that caught my attention was the activity included to create Egyptian paper boats. Thus, the book is very engaging. Each character is well believable due to authentic photographs. The represented information is clearly organized and evident. I loved the Arab-American biography book as well as the authenticity. ( )
  kacieforest | Feb 7, 2015 |
“What was it like, Grandma; Grandma Hekmatt Remembers,” was extremely informative and I enjoyed reading this text fro three reasons. Grandma Hekmatt was born and raised in Egypt. Grandma tells the stories of her childhood to her three granddaughters with the intent of teaching them about their Arab-American culture. I found this text to be extremely informative. The book is filled with photographs of Grandma Hekmatt during her childhood. Each photo is captioned with a description of what exactly is going on in the picture. I also appreciated how the text was presented in the book. On one page of the book there would be a photograph of something that is prominent in the grandmother’s Egyptian culture (ex. belly dancing) and then on the other side of the page there would be a photo of something prominent in the granddaughters culture in the U.S. (ex. playing on the swings). One last aspect that I loved about this book was that it included an activity in the book for readers to participate in if they wished. The activity was a description of how to make an Egyptian paper boat. I found this activity to be engaging and it took the education of this new culture to a new level. ( )
  EmilyEgert | Sep 25, 2014 |
Shows Grandma in pre-hijab days in Egypt. She & all female adults in the family are in full hijab in US. Shows positive influence of masjid.
  fadeledu | Dec 11, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Morris, AnnAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Linenthal, PeterPhotographer/Illustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Three Arab-American girls learn about their family and cultural history from their grandmother, who grew up in Cairo, Egypt, and moved to New Jersey after her marriage. Includes directions for making Egyptian paper boats.

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