Books by Laura Jacobsen

A PARTY IN RAMADAN by Asma Mobin-Uddin
Released: April 1, 2009

Mobin-Uddin and Jacobsen again explore a slice of the Muslim-American experience, focusing on the religious significance and customs during Ramadan (The Best Eid Ever, 2007). Leena's friend's birthday party falls on the first Friday of Ramadan. Although she is not required to fast like the adults in her family, Leena persuades her mother to allow her to both attend the party and abstain from food and drink. The hijab-clad girl resists temptations of lemonade and chocolate cake, diverting herself with activity, but succumbs to a nap toward party's end. At home, as Leena and her family happily prepare to break their fast, the neighbors stop by with leftover birthday cake. Although message-driven, this is a compassionate family story that functions beautifully as both mirror for Muslim-American children and window for their non-Muslim friends. The author's appealing, full-bleed pastels depict a sunny, middle-class community. A worthwhile addition to the still-too-sparse literature for children about Muslim-Americans. (author's note) (Picture book. 6-9)Read full book review >
Released: March 31, 2006

These short, sly, humorous animal poems with a dollop of science will tickle the funny bone of young readers and encourage imitation. The poet celebrates sloths, penguins, sharks, sea horses, camels, salamanders, lightning bugs, octopi and armadillos, among others. Most poems rely on "almost" rhymes—for example, Starfish: "I envy the echinoderm / Or starfish, by a simpler term. / It looks for dinner all about / And finding food, it doesn't shout / It turns its stomach inside out. / No napkin needed for its mout." Whimsical illustrations in pastel pen add to the charm. The author, a biologist, concludes with additional facts about each animal. Where the animal poems of Douglas Florian and Jack Prelutsky are popular, this will find an enthusiastic fan club. (Poetry. 8-10)Read full book review >