Often we hear about parents longing for their children when they are away. While it is true that a parent's love and longing for their children is incomparable, a child's yearning during a separation is also a special and inimitable thing. In Icey Shaikh's Alexander's Big Surprise, she explores the experiences and emotions of a child waiting to reunite with his mother.
The story opens with a boy named Alexander, who is tossing and turning in bed, anxious for the next day. When he awakes, he swiftly prepares to face the day that he has been looking forward to. Alexander lives at home with his dad while his mom is out of the country. While she is away, Alexander missed his mom dearly and is counting the seconds until they meet again.
Alexander's Big Surprise is a light and touching story that is beautifully illustrated. Throughout its pages, readers can feel the very palpable excitement and love of a son for his mother. Author, Icey Shaikh, is a mother herself. Through her writing, she explores the different experiences of children and how they interact with the world around them. She believes in the importance of children seeing themselves represented authentically in books and stories. Alexander's Big Surprised is published in English, Spanish, and Arabic. The inclusive way in which she shares her stories, she encourages children to blossom and be individuals.
For young readers, Alexander's Big Surprise is a thoughtful book that helps explore the experience of a loved one being away from them. In the formative years of childhood, important events like this leave lasting impacts on children that they will carry into adulthood. This book helps them explore and understand that.
For parents and teachers, this book is an opportunity to connect and start conversations about topics that may be challenging to breach with preschoolers and very young children.
“Very good story. It seems that children are incomplete without both parents present. If his dad was away he would have been just as anxious to reunite with him. When I read Alexander’s Big Surprise, it made reflect on the importance of family. The twist at the end with the box was significant as well. The empty box without the gift turned out to be the perfect gift. Where there is family and love everything else will fall into place.”
—Nino, Reader's Review
I am a student at FTCC in Fayetteville, NC, majoring in Early Childhood Education. I am also a wife and mother of 5 beautiful children; Keith, Kevin, Elijah, Khadijah, and Khaleeta. My future goals include writing more books, which I hope you will enjoy and teaching preschool or elementary children ages 0 to 8 and become an advocate for children all over the world. I published my book in English, Spanish, and Arabic because I want children to see themselves as they are and not as others would have them to be. I highly respect all cultures and all languages and hope to include other languages in my writings in the future. Thank you for allowing me to share this part of my journey with you.