THE ROSES IN MY CARPET by Rukhsana Khan

THE ROSES IN MY CARPET

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A young refugee boy from Afghanistan struggles toward adulthood in a compassionate tale from Khan (Bedtime B-a-a- a-lk, p. 896) about the healing of the human spirit. At the mud house in the refugee camp, the nameless narrator’s days consist mainly of work, school, prayers, and sharing what little there is to eat. He has nightmares of war, and is learning the skill of carpet-weaving, from which he hopes to someday derive a living for his family; with his father dead, the boy is embarrassed to admit that he accepts minimal aid from an unseen sponsor. In his graceful narrative, he names the colors he works with: “White for the shroud we wrapped my father’s body in. Black is for the night that cloaks us from enemy eyes. Green is the color of life. Blue is the sky. One day it will be free of jets.” Leaden skies and mud-colored walls contrast with the bright colors of the carpet; Himler’s watercolor and pencil drawings, spare as the text, build poignantly to a portrait of a life. After the news comes that his sister, hospitalized with broken legs, will heal, the boy’s dreams turn; the roses he is weaving into a carpet appear in his vision of a future “where the bombs cannot touch us.” (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1998
ISBN: 0-8234-1399-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1998




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