Published by Levine Querido
Summary: It’s the first day of school for Rashin, who has recently moved to the U.S. from Iran. She tells readers about her morning, with an emphasis on shapes: the bear-shaped bottle of honey on the table, the round wheels on the cars, the unfamiliar shapes of letters in the classroom. The teacher asks her new students to tell her where they’re from and starts off the discussion by sharing that she’s from Benin, a country that is shaped like a flashlight. Other kids are from Japan, shaped like a seahorse; Italy, shaped like a boot; and India, shaped like a Hindu goddess. When it’s Rashin’s turn, she compares Iran to a cat–a Persian cat–and amuses her classmates with her cat pose. They decide the United States looks like a whale, and an illustration shows them all riding on its back. “By the end of the day,” says Rashin, “my classroom is shaped like home.” 40 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: A perfect combination of a first-day-of-school book and a celebration of the diversity that immigrants bring to a group. The countries are shown as the kids mention them, but you’ll want to have a world map handy to locate each one.
Cons: Come to think of it, a world map would have been a nice addition at the end of the book.