Get our latest staff recommendations, award news and digital catalog links right to your inbox.
Bilal Cooks Daal
Table of Contents
About The Book
A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2019
An Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor Book 2019
Six-year-old Bilal introduces his friends to his favorite dish—daal!—in this charming picture book that showcases the value of patience, teamwork, community, and sharing.
Six-year-old Bilal is excited to help his dad make his favorite food of all-time: daal! The slow-cooked lentil dish from South Asia requires lots of ingredients and a whole lot of waiting. Bilal wants to introduce his friends to daal. They’ve never tried it! As the day goes on, the daal continues to simmer, and more kids join Bilal and his family, waiting to try the tasty dish. And as time passes, Bilal begins to wonder: Will his friends like it as much as he does?
This debut picture book by Aisha Saeed, with charming illustrations by Anoosha Syed, uses food as a means of bringing a community together to share in each other’s family traditions.
About The Illustrator
Anoosha Syed is a Pakistani-Canadian illustrator and character designer for animation, based in Texas. She graduated with a BFA in illustration at Ceruleum: Ecole d’arts Visuels in Lausanne, Switzerland. Bilal Cooks Daal is her first picture book.
- Publisher: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (June 4, 2019)
- Length: 40 pages
- ISBN13: 9781534418103
- Grades: P - 3
- Ages: 4 - 8
- Lexile ® AD520L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
Browse Related Books
Raves and Reviews
"A quietly radical, eminently delightful book."
– Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Refreshingly innovative...a lovely picture-book debut."
"The author uses food as a way to create common ground and bridge cultures. The illustrations are charming and the facial expressions of the children are endearing. The recipe itself, diversity of the characters, and the father taking on the role as a cook and enlisting his son to help prepare dinner are interwoven themes that make this book perfect for reading discussions among preschoolers. The book also shows that the deepest flavors come with ingredients that simmer gently. This teaches patience to youngsters. The story can prompt discussions about patience, friendship, expanding your palate, measurements, and spices. A fun introduction to cross cultural sharing."
– School Library Journal, Online
Awards and Honors
- CBC/NCSS Notable Children's Book in Social Studies
- Monarch Award Master List (IL)
- Picture This Recommendation List
- APALA Asian/Pacific America Literature Award Honor Book
Resources and Downloads
High Resolution Images
Book Cover Image (jpg): Bilal Cooks Daal
Author Photo (jpg): Aisha Saeed
Photograph © Aisha Saeed(0.1 MB)
Any use of an author photo must include its respective photo credit
You may also like: Picture Books Celebrating Diversity
More to Explore
Our Summer Reading Recommendations
Red-hot romances, poolside fiction, and blockbuster picks, oh my! Start reading the hottest books of the summer.
This Month's New Releases
From heart-pounding thrillers to poignant memoirs and everything in between, check out what's new this month.