Egyptian Lullaby

Roaring Brook. Apr. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250222497.
PreS-Gr 2–A young Egyptian girl excitedly awaits the arrival of Egyptian Auntie Fatma, who “brings a little of our old life with her,” every time she visits. Their time together includes lots of traditional meals, special Egyptian treats, conversation, and a lullaby, sung to her by Auntie Fatma each night. Based on the sounds of Egypt, the cumulative verse starts with the Nile, “which flows through the city. Swish, swoosh, swish.” It continues aboard a boat; through the city; past the mosque; through the streets with their donkey carts, buses, cars, and trucks; and continues on by the people, dogs, and the children playing soccer. The story wraps with reassurance that her aunt will be waking up in Cairo as she falls asleep each night, so the song will always be with her. The repetitive refrain, reminiscent of The Napping House, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, and other cumulative picture books, will engage young lap listeners and story time attendees alike. Vibrant illustrations bring bustling Cairo to life.
VERDICT A sweet peek into Egyptian family culture that is relatable to all. Purchase for picture book collections where representation of North African, Arabic, or, Egyptian traditions is lacking.

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