Common Threads: Adam’s Day at the Market by Huda Essa illustrated by Merce’ Tous

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Common Threads: Adam’s Day at the Market by Huda Essa illustrated by Merce’ Tous

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A lot of story is conveyed in this 13 word book for preschoolers about diversity, similarities, and love.  In 32 picture rich pages you meet a little family at an outdoor market, see Adam lose track of his parents as he follows a bird, and meet a lot of kind people as he mistakes them for his parents based on the clothing they are wearing.

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Naturally it has a happy ending, and it appears all the characters come together to get to know one another.  The pictures are beautiful and radiate with light and colors.

The market in general is diverse and the characters Adam meets show clothing similarities.  His mother wears hijab and he mistakes a nun in a habit for her, and then a lady in a kanga.  He thinks he sees his father, but it is a man with a yarmulke and a gentleman in a similar color shalwar kameez looks a lot like his dad’s kurta, but isn’t him either.

This is truly a picture book with sparse words of “Mama?” and “Baba?” being the bulk of the text.  It is visual and conversation sparking in its minimal and simplistic text.  By not having the author fill in the conversation, a preschooler gets to do it themselves, and hopefully broaden their mind in the process.

The beginning of the book has a beautiful Note to Readers urging children and adults to engage in diverse collaborations to increase empathy, innovation, social justice, and understanding to the benefit of us all.

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The book concludes with a challenge to children to become cultural detectives.  It notes that what we wear sends a message about who we are, but it is just what you see on the outside.  It encourages us to ask questions respectfully and kindly to learn about one another.

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