Having Really liked Zaid and the Gigantic Cloud, I convinced myself to spend $15 on a 20 page book by the same author. I knew it was paperback and 8×8, but I loved the message in Zaid, and the summaries of Nightly News with Safa online all talked about how a little girl creates her own newscast with a positive spin to tell her mom about her day. A lot of positives for me: a creative girl, problem solving, imagination, and journalism. So I ordered it, and when it came, I thumbed through it, and counted only 10 pages of story, yes that is right, 10 pages. The rest of the pages tell about the author, the illustrator or are colorful, but blank, before and after the story.
Price and length aside, the book is really cute and clever. The target audience is probably first grade to third grade, and the pictures are colorful, detailed and very well done. A girl, Safa, doesn’t like when her mom watches the news as it is sad, serious, and angry, so she builds a tv, puts herself inside and tells her mom about the happy highlights of her day at school in a news format. Very creative, but that is it, there isn’t a message or really a point, or any story about Safa and her mom.
With guidance and oversight, however, the book is a great starting point for how kids can be problem solvers, and is a great springboard for encouraging creativity and thinking outside the box to get your way. The publishing company even has a free “Book Study Package” on their website http://www.myeverydayclassroom.com/2016/02/book-study-freebie-nightly-news-safa/ The package is 13 pages, it is longer than the book. Which is funny to me, but not surprising, as there is a lot to discuss after reading the book. My 10 year old enjoyed it and tried to convince my 6 year old who didn’t get any of it, all the lessons it alludes to. It would work great in a classroom setting where you read the book, divide the class up and have them make their own newscast to talk about their day, or as a social studies or literature activity.
There is no mention of Islam in the book, the characters are not visibly muslim, there are no Islamic words, or references. The character’s name is Safa, which may or may not signify faith.