My Father Dreams of Palestine
By: Hannah Moushabeck
Illustrated by: Reem Madooh
Published: March 28, 2023
Publisher: Chronicle Kids
This autobiographical picture book shares the stories her father shared about his homeland and the Palestine he remembers growing up. He remembers visiting his grandparents over the summer in Jerusalem and then all of a sudden, never going back. He brings Palestine to his children in America through his stories.
At bedtime, three daughters wait anxiously for their father to come home and tell them stories before bedtime. Sometimes the stories are funny but other times he shares stories from his childhood in Palestine. This book shares the story of his last visit to his grandparents many years ago.
If you know someone who is no longer able to go back home or finds they miss a connection with their past or with their grandparents, this book offers an understanding that even though we may not be able to physically or literally go back to a special place, we can always go there in our minds.
Children will learn much about the culture of Palestine, the markets, the food, and the music. The illustrations show the author’s own family through the illustrations as they imagine themselves in the stories her father told. Now in America, her father has made a life for himself and his family, but the traditions of his family, the food, and the memories will be held dear for a very long time.
The end of the book includes a glossary of terms and illustrations which I found interesting and helpful during my reading.
Hannah Moushabeck is a second-generation Palestinian American author, editor, and marketer who was raised in a family of booksellers and publishers in western Massachusetts and England. Born into Interlink Publishing, a family-run independent publishing company, she learned the power of literature at a young age. Homeland: My Father Dreams of Palestine is her first picture book. She lives in western Massachusetts, near her family.
Reem Madooh is an illustrator from Kuwait with an MA in Children’s Book Illustration. She is an avid picture book collector and loves narrative storytelling and incorporating a dreamlike atmosphere into her art. As a child, she enjoyed listening to stories of the old days from her parents and grandparents. She also loves za’atar and makes sure to have some every day. Homeland: My Father Dreams of Palestine is her first picture book. She lives in Kuwait.