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Reviewed by Melinda Facal for Readers' Favorite
Abby and Amina is a children’s picture book written by Anne Lavallee with illustrations by Sastra Noor. This uplifting story highlights the joy of friendship and celebrates the uniqueness of each individual. Abby and Amina are good friends who admire what makes each of them special. Abby appreciates that Amina’s culture and dress are different from hers. At the same time, Amina understands the importance of Abby’s remarkable wheelchair, Tink. Tink helps Abby every day and is also a valuable part of the girls' friendship. One day Tink’s feelings are hurt; he shuts down and stops communicating. The girls are concerned and show great compassion for this important wheelchair. Amina recalls how Abby befriended her when she was new in town, and others were unkind to her. Amina thoughtfully comes up with a way to help Tink. Vibrant and colorful illustrations accompany this beautiful story.
Throughout the story of Abby and Amina, wonderful examples of the power of compassion and kindness are given. This may spark conversations with young readers about the value of learning from others while honoring the differences that make each person exceptional. Tink the wheelchair plays an essential role in the story in teaching young children how they can help others in wheelchairs; by helping to open doors and giving those in wheelchairs space to move. Abby and Amina show us all that the best kind of friendship is one that does not judge and only offers unconditional love and support. The joyful illustrations and positive tone will engage young readers and keep them curious to see what will happen next. Abby and Amina is a highly recommended read.