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Leila in Saffron, written by Rukhsanna Guidroz and illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova

Tonight I am on the lookout for parts of me that I like…

Leila’s weekly family dinner at her grandmother’s house leads to self-discovery and identity. Through gorgeous and vibrant illustrations and text, Leila in Saffron, written by Rukhsanna Guidroz and illustrated by Dinara Mirtralipova, invites readers to:

  • Note and notice the use of senses to add descriptive details
  • Wonder and learn about various text features
  • Make connections about family heritage
  • Grow understandings and interpretations about other cultures and languages
  • Learn the power of an author’s and illustrator’s intentions
  • Examine how a character changes throughout a story
  • Consider “What is this book really about?”

The book showcases the sweet, young Leila who searches for her pride and identity alongside her strong, nurturing grandmother. Moving from confused to confident, Leila references sights, sounds, touches, tastes, and smells of her Pakistani culture.  Her pride and joy ignites with the realization that each and every part of me comes together to make me who I am”.

K-3 Students say:

She looks just like me! 

Pomegranates…I never heard that word.  What does that mean? Are they good? Can we try them?

Where is Pakistan?  Where is that? How long does it take to get there?

I speak two languages! My Dad speaks English and my Mom speaks Creole and I speak both. 

Look — a hidden cover. Two different covers! Huh? Who made it that way? Wait. You can do that? I want to try that on my book.

(Noticing the glossary) Cool! Let’s try saying these words! You (partner), go first. 

No way!  I have a Naani, too!

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