I’m watching documentaries on PBS tonight about the Great Pyramid of Giza (aka the Pyramid of Khufu, Wikipedia article HERE), and seeing bird’s-eye views of the pyramids situated right next to Cairo reminded me of this heartbreakingly sweet children’s picture book that my daughters regularly checked out of our public library when they were young: The Day of Ahmed’s Secret.
Written by a mother-daughter team (from Kenosha, Wisconsin, I later discovered, which is just about an hour’s drive south of Milwaukee), the book tells the story of Ahmed, a boy who delivers butane gas to customers all over Cairo in his donkey cart. The pyramids stand silent beyond the city’s chaos of color and sound as Ahmed cheerfully goes about his day and looks forward to the evening, when he will share an important secret with his family.
Sadly, neither of my daughters remembers this book today. However, thanks to the Internet (YAY!!!) I was able to find not only the authors and illustrator (Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gilliland, authors, and Ted Lewin, illustrator) but also this YouTube video of someone reading the book aloud and turning the pages so you can see the illustrations. Isn’t that wonderful? If you have a few minutes, watch and listen to the story. And then tell me if you don’t tear up a little when Ahmed reveals his beautiful secret at the very end!