Fatima’s Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq, illustrated by Stevie Lewis

Published by Kokila

Fatima's Great Outdoors: Tariq, Ambreen, Lewis, Stevie: 9781984816955:  Amazon.com: Books
Fatima's Great Outdoors – We Are LIT!

Summary:  After a tough week at school, Fatima is ready to enjoy her family’s first camping trip, “a great American pastime”, as her father calls it.  Dad struggles to set up the tent (grumbling in Urdu) until Fatima suggests they read the instruction manual together.  A spider terrifies Fatima and her older sister, but their no-nonsense mother takes care of things.  In the morning, they decide to try cooking bacon over a fire like other American families.  Once again, Dad struggles, but Mom, who grew up using a wood-burning stove, shows the family how to make a fire.  Fatima is sad to leave, but the new experiences have given her confidence, and she enjoys sharing stories of her trip with her classmates.  Includes an illustration with a reference to @brownpeoplecamping, the organization founded by the author. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  A thorough introduction to camping through Fatima’s eyes, with the message that it’s an activity for everyone.  The family enjoys Indian food, speaks Urdu, and observes their own traditions, but also is enthusiastic to try “a great American pastime”.  Pair with The Camping Trip by Jennifer Mann.

Cons:  I felt like the story could have benefited from some editing.  The many aspects of Indian culture included in the story started to feel a little didactic.

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