Book Review – Watermelon Madness by Taghreed Najjar @TaghreedNajjar illustrated by Maya Fidawi @mayafidawi #amreading #bookblogger #bookreview #WatermelonMadness

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This picture book was first published in Arabic and was published in the UK in May 2018.

The first thing I noticed were the bright, expressive illustrations which will definitely appeal to the target age group (3-7). To begin with, much of the food mentioned in the story is Middle Eastern. I immediately thought that this would be a problem as children (not to mention me!) will probably not have come across these foods. However, as I carried on reading I began thinking about the great opportunity to introduce another culture in a fun way. This is aided by the fact that there is information given in the back of the book about the named foods, as well as some interesting facts about watermelons!  Having worked in a primary school for 10 years, I couldn’t help but think of using this book as a ‘hook’ to introduce both different cultures as well as different food. Having witnessed 50% of a class full of 11 year olds not being able to tell me what a cucumber was, surely this must be a good thing!

There is a clear moral to the story: it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Whilst I don’t think this will become a favourite story to read time and time again, I definitely think this book would be beneficial as a fun introduction to other cultures as well as an encouraging story for fussy eaters!

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