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Where is ZamZam?

ZamZam compares a day in his life in Philadelphia and Alexandria, Egypt, where his grandfather lives.

Photo of Karen Leggett
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Where is ZamZam?

 

 

Sometimes I wake up in Philadelphia with my Mommy and Baba.

Sometimes I wake up in Alexandria with my Grandpa/Gedu.

When I wake up in Philadelphia,

I brush my teeth and put on my clothes.

When I wake up in Alexandria,

I do exactly the same thing.

When I eat breakfast in Philadelphia,

I eat cereal with milk.

When I eat breakfast in Philadelphia,

I eat slow-cooked fava beans.

After breakfast in Philadelphia,

I play my guitar.

After breakfast in Alexandria,

I play my tabla.

When I look outside in Philadelphia,

I count the yellow cars with Baba.

When I look outside in Alexandria,

I count the yellow cars with Gedu.

When I feel silly in Philadelphia,
I hide corn in Grandma’s glove.

When I feel silly in Alexandria,

I throw Grandma’s pillow over the balcony.

When it’s time to sleep in Philadelphia,

Baba reads to me in English and the words go left to right.

When it’s time for bed in Philadelphia,

Gedu reads to me in Arabic and the words go right to left.

When I sleep in Philadelphia,

I sleep with my bear.

When I  sleep in Alexandria,

I sleep with the exact same bear.

 Karen Leggett Abouraya 2019

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

This manuscript encourages conversation and language development with the youngest children about what is the same and different in their lives in Philadelphia (or other American cities) compared to their family's original home in Egypt (or another country). A parent or caregiver could easily substitute another city or country to build a positive perception of similarities and differences in the important places in the child's life or experience.

Share your suggested book title

Where is ZamZam?

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Where is ZamZam? Sometimes I wake up in Philadelphia with my Mommy and Baba. Sometimes I wake up in Alexandria with my Grandpa/Gedu. When I wake up in Philadelphia, I brush my teeth and put on my clothes. When I wake up in Alexandria, I do exactly the same thing. When I eat breakfast in Philadelphia, I eat cereal with milk. When I eat breakfast in Philadelphia, I eat slow-cooked fava beans. After breakfast in Philadelphia, I play my guitar. After breakfast in Alexandria, I play my tabla. When I look outside in Philadelphia, I count the yellow cars with Baba. When I look outside in Alexandria, I count the yellow cars with Gedu. When I feel silly in Philadelphia, I hide corn in Grandma’s glove. When I feel silly in Alexandria, I throw Grandma’s pillow over the balcony. When it’s time to sleep in Philadelphia, Baba reads to me in English and the words go left to right. When it’s time for bed in Philadelphia, Gedu reads to me in Arabic and the words go right to left. When I sleep in Philadelphia, I sleep with my bear. When I sleep in Alexandria, I sleep with the exact same bear. Karen Leggett Abouraya 2019

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

This manuscript provides an opportunity with every couplet for caregivers to converse with a young child about his or her own daily life. A richly illustrated text will enable the adult to point to pictures of each item or activity so the child makes the association with the appropriate language/word. (https://app.coxcampus.org/#!/courses?track=5591a50da98d131a00c996fb) At the earliest age, children come to understand that two cultures can be different but equally valid. Children will see themselves in ZamZam's routines, helping them to connect with the story and enjoy hearing it again and again (https://app.coxcampus.org/#!/courses/5702b5ec189a6e8c00b3f7be).

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

The story is based on actual experiences of toddlers in an American city and in Alexandria, Egypt. Caregivers can help children point to or talk about their own experiences, for example, looking outside their urban home or apartment and counting cars or tossing pillows over the balcony.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department

Maryland

Location: City

Silver Spring

Website URL (optional question)

handsaroundthelibrary.com

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a veteran journalist who became a children's author to share important nonfiction stories with children. I seek to engage children in their communities, from seeing and appreciating similarities and differences to becoming involved in making they changes they would like to see in their world. My first picture book, Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt's Treasured Books tells the story of Egyptian protesters who held hands around their library to protect it from vandals. My second book, Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words, tells the story of the Pakistani teen who was - and continues to be - outspoken in her pleas for the global education rights of children.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

I envision this text illustrated by Susan L. Roth, a highly acclaimed cut paper collage artist who has illustrated my two previous titles. Her art is bright, vibrant and expressive providing many new avenues for discussions (and personal art projects) with even the youngest children.

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt's Treasured Books (Dial Books for Young Readers) Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words (Lee & Low)

Do you have an agent?

  • Yes

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Direct email invitation

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

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Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Hi Karen Leggett  Welcome to the Challenge Community!
Absolutely love the beauty and detail with which you've compared the life a child in two completely different places. So much to learn from it about empathy, identity and change.

Also, we can surely read you story through the attachment in your submission. But as suggested by other community members too, you can add the text of the story to "SHARE A DRAFT OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT" question. This will ensure that your manuscript is the first thing the community reads when they open your submission. This will help in ensuring that no one will miss out on reading and giving you lovely feedback on your story.

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