Today we’re thrilled to reveal the cover and jacket for The Carpet: An Afghan Family Story by Dezh Azaad, illustrated by Nan Cao! The book will be released by Abrams Books for Young Readers on April 4, 2023. Preorder it here.
This poignant story, about an Afghan refugee child and the family carpet that connects them to home, inspires readers to live and learn in love, not fear
We sip our tea and talk together,
Ruby cushions of goose feather.
The carpet is for sitting.
The Carpet follows a day in the life of an Afghan refugee child, where every moment revolves around love, family, and the carpet that connects them to home. The carpet is the centerpiece of family life, where meals, stories, laughs, and memories are shared. This moving story, inspired by the author’s life, celebrates what makes a home—no matter where you are.
A word from the author & illustrator:
I wanted to focus on joy and love to show, with vibrant, colorful art, the true face of my people and counter the narrative of tragedy and violence that has become synonymous with Afghans.
— Dezh Azaad
For me, visual art transcends language barriers and can build bridges between people. I hope that my artwork and Dezh’s story of this Afghan child and her loving family strengthens and celebrates the connection between us all.
— Nan Cao
Dezh Azaad is an Afghan writer who’s been a refugee his whole life. He is a trilingual educator currently living in Germany. He speaks English, German, and his native Persian, which he’s taught to refugee children aged six to twelve years old. He’s also led seminars in German for teens and young adults on social change, race, and the climate crisis. With a background in computer science, Dezh is passionate about sustainable technology. Introducing young people to the possibility of a more equitable worldview brings him great joy. https://dezhazaad.com/
Born in Taiyuan, China, Nan Cao is a New York-based illustrator. She holds an MFA in illustration as visual essay from the School of Visual Arts. Her work has been recognized by American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Association of Illustrators, 3×3, and Creative Quarterly. The Carpet is her debut as a children’s book illustrator. Nan’s work reflects a wide world view of inclusion and acceptance. Her work can be viewed on www.nancaoart.com and her Instagram page @nancaoart.