Abdul's Story written by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and illustrated by Tiffany Rose, published by Salaam Reads (an imprint of Simon & Schuster).
Abdul's Story is a wonderful book to share with children at the start of the school year.
Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow along with Tiffany Rose have created an enjoyable and meaningful story with a great voice and brilliant illustrations about the frustrations and joys of writing.
Many kids will relate to Abdul as he tries to master the "tricky" and "sneaky" letters like b, p, and e. Nevertheless, Abdul persists because he loves making up stories and wants to write them down.
When an author visits his class, Abdul is further inspired to create a world where he can tell the stories swimming in his imagination.
Unfortunately, the writing and the spelling parts still do not come easily. As Abdul writes and erases trying to get his words just right, he compares his work to his classmates and despairs. "Jayda and Kwame had pages of words. Abdul had a hole."
Luckily, the visiting author shows Abdul his notebook. "That's a mess," Abdul tells him. And yes, readers will learn it's ok to be sloppy. It's ok to make mistakes. What's most important is the story! And Abdul's Story is worth reading and sharing over and over again.
Abdul didn't think he could be a writer because he never saw kids who looked like him in books. This picture book proves that belief wrong.
One of my favorite authors, Toni Morrison, once said (and I paraphrase) that if you can't find the book you want to read, you should write it yourself. Let's imagine that!
What characters would you love to read about, but haven't yet found in a book?
What places would you love to read about, but haven't yet found in a book?
What types of holidays or special foods would you love to read about, but haven't yet found in a book?
Make a list of your answers.
Now, imagine your own story with exactly who you want in a place you'd like to explore doing what you would love to do.
Tell your story in words (don't worry about spelling) and/or pictures (don't worry about being messy).
Imagine what a great story you could create!