“Daniel and Ismail” by Juan Pablo Iglesias and illustrations by Alex Paris— Coming Together

Iglesias, Juan Pablo. “Daniel and Ismail”, illustrations by Alex Paris, Restless Books,  2019.

Coming Together

Amos Lassen

“Daniel and Ismail” is a very special picture book about a Jewish boy and a Palestinian boy who bond on the soccer field and the story comes to us in three languages—English, Hebrew, and Arabic.

“Daniel and Ismail, one Jewish and the other Palestinian, don’t know each other yet, but they have more in common than they know. They live in the same city and have the same birthday, and this year they get the same presents: a traditional scarf—for Daniel a tallit and for Ismail a keffiyeh—and a soccer ball. Taking their gifts out for a spin, they meet by chance on a soccer field, and they soon begin to play together and show off the tricks they can do.”

“They get so absorbed in the fun that they lose track of time and mix up their gifts: Daniel picks up Ismail’s keffiyeh and Ismail takes Daniel’s tallit. When they get home and discover their mistake, their parents are shocked and angry, asking the boys if they realize who wears those things. That night, Daniel and Ismail have nightmares about what they have seen on the news and heard from adults about the other group. But the next day, they find each other in the park and get back to what really matters: having fun and playing the game they both love.”

“Daniel and Ismail is a remarkable multilingual picture book that confronts the very adult conflicts that kids around the world face, and shows us that different cultures, religions, societies, and languages can all share the same page.” However you won’t be able to get this book until May 14.

 

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