Hardcover: Bilal Cooks Daal

Dhs. 68.00
"By Aisha Saeed Illustrated by Anoosha Syed

A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2019
An Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor Book 2019

Six-year-old Bilal introduces his friends to his favorite dish—daal!—in this charming picture book that showcases the value of patience, teamwork, community, and sharing.

Six-year-old Bilal is excited to help his dad make his favorite food of all-time: daal! The slow-cooked lentil dish from South Asia requires lots of ingredients and a whole lot of waiting. Bilal wants to introduce his friends to daal. They’ve never tried it! As the day goes on, the daal continues to simmer, and more kids join Bilal and his family, waiting to try the tasty dish. And as time passes, Bilal begins to wonder: Will his friends like it as much as he does?

This debut picture book by Aisha Saeed, with charming illustrations by Anoosha Syed, uses food as a means of bringing a community together to share in each other’s family traditions.

Something that my sister and I have been STRUGGLING to find is South Asian picture books that don’t focus on religion. When we find the rare book that doesn’t, it ends up focusing on a negative aspect of our cultures—which like, sure, these books will help some kids, there’s always a need for them. But the religious-focused ones always feel like they’re A Lesson To White Kids about diversity (especially with so many art styles that seem like they’re influence by Islamic Art). The other set are issues that feel like a “how to be brown in the diaspora” primer about tough things you’re gonna face.

A delicious story about patience, friendship, and overcoming nervousness that comes from teaching friends about your culture -- or anything different that they haven't experienced before. Great artwork. I love the way all the spices and flavors hover behind the pictures.

We just wanted a nice, happy, chill book that features a brown kid doing cool things. If it happened to feature an element of brown culture, even better. LET ME SEE MYSELF SIMPLY EXIST WITH NO DETRIMENTS.

This book is the ONLY one we’ve read that fits everything we wanted. It’s about a brown kid—one that could be from any number of South Asian cultures. It doesn’t mention religion. But it’s about a specific, IMPORTANT aspect of culture: a staple food. It has diversity in the other kids who make up Bilal’s friends, and it’s so nice too that Bilal’s abu makes the food. The one quick scene where Bilal gets hurt by friends wondering how weird the daal’s gonna be is even on point—it’s there bc it can and DOES happen often, but brushed past bc the focus is on the important thing: how delicious daal is, and sharing it with friends. (They learn bc YAH DAAL ROCKS.)"