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Nabeel's New Pants: An Eid Tale Hardcover – April 1, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 2—Nabeel's dilemma with his new pants is a familiar sort of predicament borne by simple, good-hearted folks in many strains of folklore. He's a shoemaker whose business has gone well on the eve of Eid, the holiday culminating Ramadan. Purchasing gifts for his family, he also buys new pants to replace his patched trousers. However, they are "four fingers too long." Though his wife, mother, and grown daughter are appreciative of the finery he has bought for them, all are too busy with holiday preparations to shorten the pants. Roy's cheerful folk views, the figures drawn in ink and painted in warm tones of gold, brown, green, and blue, pair beautifully with the economical, repetitive scheme, which soon becomes predictable. Nabeel shortens the pants himself, only to be followed by the three women, each of whom cuts off four inches and hems them again in gratitude for his goodness. The author and illustrator are both from India; the tale is ostensibly Turkish and is sprinkled with Arabic terms, listed in an opening glossary. A fine choice for read-aloud fun, the story is a simple introduction to Muslim culture that will evoke empathetic chuckles when the mishap is discovered as Nabeel dons his knee-length pants on the morning of Eid. The damage is soon repaired in a tale that will pair nicely with Simms Taback's Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (Viking, 1999) and countless other tales of shoemakers and tailors or domestic errors.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Family life is the heart of this upbeat picture book about the Muslim celebration of Eid, which takes place after the fast of Ramadan. Turkish shoemaker Nabeel buys Eid gifts for his family, including a burqa (a garment with a veil) for his wife, a dupalla (long scarf) for his mother, and bangles for his daughter. The shopkeeper also persuades Nabeel to buy himself new pants, but the pants are too long. His wife, mother, and daughter are all too busy cooking for Eid to shorten his pants, so he cuts a few inches off them himself. Later, the women in the house feel guilty, and each secretly trims the pants more, not realizing the trousers’ increasingly shortened length. When Nabeel finally puts them on, they only reach his knees. Roy’s cheerful gouache, watercolor, and ink illustrations show the bonds among family members as they follow their traditions together. Kids will laugh right along with the loving characters, who sew the missing pants pieces back together to give Nabeel perfectly fitting trousers in the end. Preschool-Grade 3. --Hazel Rochman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Lexile Measure: 450L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761456295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761456292
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 9.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,254,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 29 customer reviews
A very nice book for a child!
Jeremy Storly
This is a charming book which highlights the generous feelings and practices typical for the holiday of Eid.
Beccaboney
Shoemaker, Nabeel, is looking forward to Eid.
J. Sullivan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Ramadan was over and everyone was preparing for Eid. Nabeel was a shoemaker and his day had been so busy that he didn't have a single shoe in his shop. He decided to go on a shopping excursion and buy his family some special gifts so they would look nice for the holiday. He bought his wife a beautiful blue burga, a dupatta for his mother, and some pretty bangles for his daughter at Hamza's Shop. He wanted to please them and worked hard making the best choices he could.

Hamza noticed that Nabeel's pants were patched and worn and convinced him to purchase a pair of pants, but he didn't have time to shorten them. Nabeel left the shop with pants "four fingers too long," but was certain his wife would shorten them. Yasmeen was delighted with her burga, but had no time to shorten the pants because she had to make biryani for Eid. His mother, Habiba was very pleased with her blue dupatta, but had to make sheerkorma for Eid. Miriam was equally busy and it looked like Nabeel was going to have to figure out what to do with those pants, but what could he do?

This tale about the celebration of Eid and the special love Nabeel's family had for him is delightfully humorous and heartwarming. Many children have learned about Ramadan in school, but few know about the celebration of Eid. This book is an excellent stepping stone to learning about the celebration. The book is presented in a fable-like manner, something that is very appealing and makes it quite interesting. There is a glossary in the front explaining many of the words or phrases. For example we learn that Wa alaikum salaam (wa-Lay-kum sa- LAM) is "a common response to the greeting `Asalaamu alaijum,' meaning `And upon you be peace.'" this book would be a lovely edition to your holiday collection for your homeschool, classroom, or library shelves!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Citizen John TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I wanted my kids to learn a little about Nabeel's culture. The book presents a problem that all kids can follow and engage with the author (or reader). Many types of questions can be generated to enrich the subject of Ramadan and the religious meanings of traditions. The illustrations were easy to understand and vivid.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Saadz on October 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book for my 3 year old daughter from the library and it was surprisingly very well written and humorous! She asked me to read it every night to her until I finally returned it to the library. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth VINE VOICE on September 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
We are not a Muslim family and we live in the United States in a mostly white area. We want our child to be familiar with other cultures and traditions and thought this book would be a good book for that. Our child is four. We thought it was mostly an interesting book, but our son was not super-impressed with it. I think with four year olds, mostly, it is a matter of whim what they love or don't love so I am not sure that it is reflective of the book. There were also some gender stereotypes in the book that were not ideal, for instance, the expectation that the women were the people to go to in order to sew his pants.

All in all, I am very glad we have this book on our son's shelf. For families that are Muslim, it might be a nice book to have since so many mainstream children's books are traditional white U.S. American books. All in all, some positive things about the book but not quite a five star book.

Just fyi, from another review, "The author and illustrator are both from India; the tale is ostensibly Turkish and is sprinkled with Arabic terms, listed in an opening glossary."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan K. Schoonover VINE VOICE on October 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
NABEEL'S NEW PANTS AN EID TALE would make a nice addition to a school or community library's collection of holiday tales from diverse cultures. The story occurs at Eid the celebration after Ramadan in Muslim tradition. A poor shoemaker goes out to buy some gifts for his mother, wife and daughter for the special day and also buys some pants for himself. The pants are too long and at first no one in the family has time to shorten them but in the end all four family members individually decide to do the task leading to a comical result and an eventual happy ending. Along the way different traditional food and clothing are introduced and the short tale has cyclical elements as well as the predictable finale. The love of the family members for each other is very apparent and easy for children (and adults) to relate to their own experience. The illustrations are bright and appealing and apparently culturally accurate. A glossary of terms with pronunciation guide is helpfully included. As the story is retold by author Fawzia Gilani-Williams the tale is apparently a traditional folk tale from Turkey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Ellingwood VINE VOICE on September 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a charming book about Eid, the name for holiday for Muslims. Nabeel goes the tailor and buys gifts for his wife, mother and daughter for Eid. The tailor invites him to buy something for himself but he only has one pair of pants which are 4 fingers too long. The tailor says he is too busy and suggests Nabeel's wife might be able to shorten them. It seems the women in Nabeel's life are too busy readying the house for Eid to help him so he decides to do it himself. What happens then is very sweet and fun. A wonderful book for Muslim children and other children as well. The book portrays Eid as a happy day that many people could relate to and the Muslim characters in the book are happy, kind people, very different from the way Muslims are portrayed in America most of the time. Very nice book.
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