Review: A Sky-Bench

Author Bahram Rahman
Illustrator: Peggy Collins
Publisher: Pajama Press
Ages: 4-8

Rahman once again takes us to his homeland of Afghanistan, where we first visited in The Library Bus, this time telling us the story of a girl who has a peculiar and different school experience than most. Through gentle and age-appropriate language, Rahman introduces readers to a discussion of landmines and the impact they have on people around the world.

Aria, who received a “helper-leg” after an accident, is excited about returning to school after an extended absence. The school, however, has no places for her to sit, making her participation incredibly difficult. After almost giving up, Aria becomes determined to take matters into her own hands and solve the problem: she would build a bench for herself to use!

The story takes us on Aria’s journey from overcoming the girls “don’t do that” obstacle, to finding the necessary materials, to the actual construction. In the end, Aria serves as a role model for the girls in her class who realize that together, there is nothing they can’t build.

Collins’ illustrations are bright and cheery–they make you smile out loud. There is a lot of joy to be found in this book; the interplay between the various expressions on the characters’ faces being a true delight.

Together, Rahman and Collins take a heavy subject and not only make it age appropriate for the cohort, but weave a story that will be requested again and again.

A Sky-Blue Bench (Amazon)*
A Sky-Blue Bench (Support an Independent Bookstore)*

My thanks to Pajama Press for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.

More books for this Age Group can be found here.

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*When something is purchased using one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission. We do not accept any monies for any editorial reviews. Our opinions, to the chagrin of many, are our own.

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