A one-of-a-kind, uplifting picture book about a Jewish boy and a Palestinian boy who bond on the soccer field—translated into English, Hebrew, and Arabic.
Daniel and Ismail, one Jewish and the other Palestinian, don’t know each other yet, but they have more in common than they know. They live in the same city and have the same birthday, and this year they get the same presents: a traditional scarf—for Daniel a tallit and for Ismail a keffiyeh—and a soccer ball. Taking their gifts out for a spin, they meet by chance on a soccer field, and they soon begin to play together and show off the tricks they can do.
They get so absorbed in the fun that they lose track of time and mix up their gifts: Daniel picks up Ismail's keffiyeh and Ismail takes Daniel's tallit. When they get home and discover their mistake, their parents are shocked and angry, asking the boys if they realize who wears those things. That night, Daniel and Ismail have nightmares about what they have seen on the news and heard from adults about the other group. But the next day, they find each other in the park and get back to what really matters: having fun and playing the game they both love.
Daniel and Ismail is a remarkable multilingual picture book that confronts the very adult conflicts that kids around the world face, and shows us that different cultures, religions, societies, and languages can all share the same page.
Juan Pablo Iglesias is a commercial and civil engineer. His first book, Iguales a 1 (Daniel and Ismail), won the emerging author prize for children’s literature from the Chilean National Council for Arts and Culture.
Alex Peris, graphic designer and illustrator, lives in Santiago, Chile. He has worked for newspapers, magazines, and has illustrated children's books. He is currently preparing his first animated short film based on the Selknam people of Chilean Patagonia.
“Peris renders both boys in black-and-white against a colorful background, quietly emphasizing their similarities and evoking the constraints of their communities. The story’s gentle emphasis on the power of play to bridge difference is relatable and persuasive.”
– Publishers Weekly
“...[A]n alternative fable, one where the joy of friendship and the comforting dreams of their interior lives allows Daniel and Ismail to ignore the hatred which threatens them…. The book’s ending is reassuring, although not without a touch of sadness. Jewish and Palestinian children play together, both on the field and in their dreams of the future. There is no mention of the adults who reacted with horror at the spontaneous companionship of two boys with a soccer ball on a beautiful day. Daniel and Ismail is highly recommended for children and will also be of interest to adults who are hopeful about the future.”
– Emily Schneider, Jewish Book Council
“A multilingual story (Arabic, English, Hebrew) of hope, soccer and friendship between a boy in Israel and a boy in Palestine. A timely and delightful book—perfect for helping children understand larger conflicts. The bright illustrations and artful layout of the text bring an upbeat mood to the pages.”
—Jen Kraar, City of Asylum Bookstore (Pittsburgh, PA)