Monday, November 18, 2013 |
The New York Public Library has named Toronto author and storyteller Rukhsana Khan's Big Red Lollipop to its list of the 100 best children's books of the past 100 years. The Pakistani-Canadian writer's work is cited alongside such classics as Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.
Khan has written a dozen books, and tackles subjects such as bullying, jealousy, belonging and immigration. In part, the stories are based on her memories of growing up in the small town of Dundas, Ontario. She moved to Canada from Pakistan with her family during the 1960s, when she was three years old, and recalls growing up in poverty and being bullied as a visible minority.
Catherine Inglis, a teacher who includes Khan's work in her classroom, told CBC News that her books "help us understand what it might be like to be someone we're not" and what life is like for someone from a different cultural background.
For her part, Khan said that she hopes that her books can help "kids who are going through a hard time...give them something to just keep them going."