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Halal Hot Dogs

Illustrated by Parwinder Singh
Published by little bee books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

Musa has the perfect idea for his special Jummah treat, but things don't go according to plan. Will Musa be able to get a yummy Jummah treat for his family?

Included in USA Today's 12 books for kids to read during Ramadan!

"Musa's enthusiasm for halal hot dogs is infectious, and this portrait of a family and community that takes joy and pride in their identity and traditions is refreshing . . . . A joyful celebration of street food and Muslim American culture."--Kirkus Reviews

"An enjoyable tour of food, faith, and family."--School Library Journal

Every Friday after Jummah prayer at the masjid, Musa's family has a special Jummah treat. They take turns picking out what the treat will be, but recently the choices have been . . . interesting. Week one, Mama made molokhia. It's perfect for sharing, but gives us molokhia teeth for days! Week two, Baba burned the kufte kebabs on the grill. Week three, Seedi made his favorite riz b'haleeb-creamy rice pudding with pistachio sprinkled on top with an unexpected ingredient. Last week, Maryam brought jellybeans. . . . Finally, it's Musa's turn to pick, and he picks his favorite-halal hot dogs! But actually getting to eat this deliciousness turns into a journey riddled with obstacles. Will he ever get his favorite tasty treat?

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Product Details

  • Publisher: little bee books (May 4, 2021)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781499811575
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Ages: 4 - 8

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Raves and Reviews

Musa loves Fridays, when Jummah prayer at the masjid is followed by a family Jummah treat at home. Each member of this Muslim family takes turns choosing the treat. Lately, though, the Jummah treat has been "...interesting." Like Baba's kufte kebabs that are hard as rocks or little Maryam's jelly-bean collection from under her bed. Musa's turn is coming up, and he can't wait to treat the family to halal hot dogs from the best stand, the one on the street near the masjid. But first he has to walk to the masjid with his family-dancing the dabke along the way-get through Jummah prayer with a rumbling stomach, wait for his family to be ready to leave the masjid, pass all sorts of other food stands, wait in line, and get all the way home to enjoy their treat. Musa's enthusiasm for halal hot dogs is infectious, and this portrait of a family and community that takes joy and pride in their identity and traditions is refreshing. Singh's colorful illustrations use animation-style effects to bring out the humor of the scenes and accessibility of the characters. Both textual and visual details point to this family's Middle Eastern origins. An informative note at the end of the book defines halal food law for readers unfamiliar with it. This is a fast-paced read, with a vigorously multicultural urban setting that will feel familiar to some and intriguing to others. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9.8-by-16.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at TK% of actual size.)

A joyful celebration of street food and Muslim American culture. (author's note, glossary of Arabic terms) (Picture book. 3-9)

– Kirkus Reviews

Gr 2-4-It's Friday, Musa's favorite day of the week-the day his family, including his mother, father, siblings, and grandfather walk together to attend Jummah prayer service at a local masjid and have a special meal together afterward. After weeks of waiting and enduring some food mishaps, it's finally Musa's turn to choose the family's post-Jummah treat. He knows exactly what he wants: halal hot dogs from a stand near the masjid, topped with Salam sauce, of course. This lively tale chronicles Musa's Friday adventure through the streets of his vibrant urban neighborhood. Bright cartoon illustrations contribute to the feel of the story. While the family's ethnic identity isn't explicitly identified, references to dishes such as molokhia and kefte, and mentions of cultural traditions (debke, a folk dance popular in Palestinian and Lebanese communities), as well as depictions of family members wearing traditional dress, offer an unabashed representation of a loving and positive Middle Eastern family. Community members at the masjid and in the neighborhood are depicted in various skin tones, shapes, and sizes, with names representing diverse ethnic backgrounds. A glossary of Arabic words and terms and an explanation of halal laws provide additional context. VERDICT An enjoyable tour of food, faith, and family.

– School Library Journal

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