Cardboard Home Telescope {Tutorial} plus Sadiq and the Desert Star {Book Review}

This recycled cardboard home telescope began it’s life as two paper towel rolls. We added some reading glasses and paint to make a homemade telescope just like the one Sadiq, the protagonist from Sadiq and the Desert Star, used to help him look for stars.

Sadiq and the Desert Star is a new book by Somali American Siman Nuurali and illustrated by Anjan Sarkar. It was published by Capstone and they recently sent me an advanced copy to enjoy.

My daughter read the story, and had lots of questions about Berbera, Somalia, where Sadiq was from. We learned it is a coastal city and was the most important place of trade in the entire Horn of Africa. Sadiq’s grandfather used the desert star to guide his caravan trips through the Sahara Desert.

After we spent some time learning about Berbera, my daughter gathered supplies to start her telescope right away. She wanted to see if she could really see Mars, just like Sadiq and his friends at the observatory.

Supplies

The first step my daughter took in making her own telescope is to cut one of the paper rolls lengthwise.

She took the cut paper roll and placed it inside the other tube.

Next, I helped my daughter pop out the glasses from their frame and she taped one to the end of the cut paper roll. She made sure to place the curved side facing the tube.

Once that end was secure, she did the same to the other end, but this time she made sure the curved side of the glass faced away from the cardboard.

Next we painted the tube with cardboard paint. You can use any paint you want, but we thought it might be fun to use chalkboard paint so that we could use chalk on the tube to write down what we saw.


We had a bit of a problem trying to paint over the tape that attach the glasses. I think when we make more telescopes for our upcoming space club, we will have everyone paint their tubes before taping on the glasses.

Now our telescope was ready. We wanted to take a photo in the daytime to show you what it looks like, but please never, ever use your telescope to look at the sun. This is dangerous and could really hurt your eyesight.

While she did love this book overall, she was confused as to why Sadiq’s mother and sister were wearing the hijab in the kitchen. Her own grandmother and aunt, who wear the hijab everyday, always take it off when they come home.

My daughter did love the facts about Somalia that was included, as well as the new Somali terms she got to practice. For example, in Somali, a grandfather is awoowe, but in Libyan we use jidu. I also loved the glossary in the back for the astronomy terms, plus the sections that encouraged kids to talk about and write down their thoughts about the book.

There are more Sadizq books coming out and my daughter can’t wait to read them:

To check out our other reviews of books, with craft tutorials, visit

Pakistan Straw Topper Flag {Tutorial} Plus Meet Yasmin {Book Review}

Persian Paisley Painting {Tutorial} plus Naji and the Mystery of the Dig {Book Review}

Be sure to stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see hundreds of books lists and tutorials that teach about the Arab world and Muslim culture.

Arabesque Paneled Fish {Tutorial} plus Arabic Stories {Book Review}

I recently received the book Arabic Stories for Language Learners: Traditional Middle Eastern Tales In Arabic and English, that includes an audio CD, from Tuttle Publishing.

This book is a collection of sixty-six traditional Middle Eastern tales. Each one is written in both in Arabic and English, on parallel pages, so anyone can follow along for easy learning of the language.

Some of the stories have a moral outcome, while others make light of a situation. The tales are full of narratives that include everyday people and also ones specific to Islamic culture.

What I found most helpful was the CD that was included with the book. I discovered myself listening to it mostly in the car, since I did not need the book to follow along.

My daughter was with me while we listened to the story of Fish Is Sold Herd and we both thought it was very funny how the fish seller was trying to post his fish sign. Everyone had their opinion to share with him about how it was done, so he just eventually ended up with no sign at all.

My daughter thought that maybe he needed a sign with no words, so she and I created a fish sign for the seller to use.

Supplies

  • Card stock
  • Double sided tape
  • Xacto
  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Beige card stock

My daughter started by drawing a fish silhouette. Since it was to be used as a sign, she tried to use up the entire page for the body.

She set aside her fish and started cutting the arabesque paper into one inch stripes.

After she had a number of pieces cut, she decided on a color scheme.

My daughter then cut the panels of paper to fit the outline of the fish with the Xacto.

Once the panels were cut out, she used the double sided tape to add them to the beige card stock.

This is what our completed fish looked like.

We placed into a frame to enjoy it longer.

Be sure to check out Arabic Stories for Language Learners: Traditional Middle Eastern Tales In Arabic and English to enjoy more Arab stories. Also, check out the Saudi Arabia Creamy Tomato and Chickpea Soup {Recipe} we made from another favorite book from Tuttle Publishing: The Arabian Nights Cookbook: From Lamb Kebabs to Baba Ghanouj, Delicious Homestyle Middle Eastern Cooking

Visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more tutorials that were inspired by books we love to read in our home.

Arabic English Handy Review Book {Tutorial} Plus Hands Around the Library {Review}


We made these hand(y) review books for Hands Around the Library by Karen Leggett Abouraya with beautiful collage illustrations by Susan L. Roth, as part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

The story is about former children librarian Shaimaa Saad and library director, Ismail Serageldin, in February 2011, during the Egyptian upraising.

They both worked at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a major library and cultural center located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in Alexandria, Egypt. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is trilingual, containing books in Classical Arabic, English, and French.

At the time, people were very unhappy with the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak. They held rallies, demonstrations and parades to voice their concerns.

The library staff was worried, since the library has been destroyed before. But on this day, people from within the parade broke out of the demonstrations and linked hands on the steps to protect the building.

The pages are stunning, showcasing different aspects of Egyptian style, including colorful quilts, hijbas and the clothing of the Muslims & Christians who held hands.

The back of the book contains a double-page photo spread with more information of the uprising and the library itself. There is a resource page, which I loved, since it included the Arabic words shown on the protest signs.

My favorite page was hands holding the Egyptian flag that was opened on the library steps.

This gave my daughter and I the inspiration to make these handy review books, to write down what we think about a book.

Supplies

  • Various colored card stock
  • Corner punch
  • Glue stick
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

My daughter started to make the review book by drawing an outline of her hand

She added a rectangular tab, for the staples later.

Next, my daughter cut out the hand. She used this hand to cut out as a template to make several others from different colors.

After all the hands were cut, she cut out all the tags for inside the review book. I typed them both up for her, in Arabic and English:

  • TITLE OF BOOK / عنوان الكتاب
  • THEME / موضوع الكتاب
  • AUTHOR / مؤلف
  • SETTING / إعداد
  • FAVORITE EVENT / حدث المفضل
  • RATING / تقييم

She made all the corners round on the slips of paper to make it look nicer.

To add them to the hands, my daughter added glue to the back of the pieces of paper and centered them on the hands.

The final step is to staple all the hands to each other.

We made a review book in English.

We also made a review book in Arabic. We made sure to start the book in the opposite direction and added our staples accordingly.

If you want to save some time, you can make the English and Arabic into one review book. Just start the English from one side and the Arabic from the other.

If you enjoyed making this handy craft, check out these others:

Be sure to stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more tutorials that teach about the Arab world.