Habiba is a little girl who lives in Afghanistan. She helps her family by bringing in water in the morning, goes to school, enjoys eating flat bread, and spending time with her family. Though "I See the Sun in Afghanistan" by Dedie King is fiction, it does a wonderful job of showing the reality in Afghanistan in a way that children can understand. Though it brings up issues like war and gender roles, it leaves plenty of room for parents to explain those things in their own way to their children while they read. And best of all, it shows a picture of hope.
Book for Children Ages: 4 years old and older
Family Reading Time: Since this book deals with such important subjects, and are so deeply related to current events and things children may have questions about, this is a great book to read as a family. Even older children may have questions about Afghanistan, especially of you have a friend or family member that is there because of the ongoing war.
- Though you may not be able to read Dari, you can still point out the words to your child and talk about different languages and alphabets.
- Read this book ahead of time so that you can think about some of the questions your child may have and how you want to answer them in ways that are in line with your families values.
- What things do you notice throughout the book that are the same as things in our families life? (E.g. chores around the house, telling stories, eating meals together, etc.)
- What things are different? (E.g. no electricity or running water in their house, types of food eaten, etc.)
- Can you think of a time that you have helped someone else in need like Habiba's family helped her cousins?
- Make a miniature quilt. Older children will enjoy learning to sew actual cloth pieces together. Younger children can simply cut out square pieces of fabric and glue them to a piece of paper or a single large piece of fabric.
- Get up early one morning and go outside. Listen very carefully. What are all the sounds that you can hear? What can you see? What can you smell?
- Visit an older relative and see what things they remember from when they were a child. How have things changed for your family since then?
- Think of someone who may need something and figure out something to do to help them. Bake cookies, send a card, or even just a phone call to cheer someone up.
- Make naan bread together. This is a great recipe for children to participate in because it is so tactile, as they get to knead and roll the dough, watch it rise and puff up, and then finally taste and smell their finished creation.
Children's Book Review Rating: 5 Stars - Beautiful Book*