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Children's Fiction General

Khadija and the Elephant Toothpaste Experiment

by (author) Farah Qaiser & Hajer Nakua

illustrated by Natalya Tariq

Second Story Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2024
General, Muslim, Diversity & Multicultural
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2024
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2024
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3
  • Reading age: 6 to 8


Khadija is inspired by her visit to the science fair. There are so many different scientists all wearing safety goggles and lab coats! But how come none of them are wearing a hijab?

After watching a scientist carry out the elephant toothpaste experiment, Khadija attempts to recreate it at home with mixed (and messy!) results. Surrounded by her family as they celebrate Eid, Khadija tries again….

“Salaam everyone, and Eid Mubarak!” she cries. “When I grow up, I’m going to be a scientist!”

About the authors

Farah Qaiser is passionate about making science engaging and accessible for everyone, from youth to adults, through writing, outreach, and policy. Farah is a genomics researcher by training and holds a Master of Science from the University of Toronto. She lives in Mississauga, Canada.

Farah Qaiser's profile page

Hajer Nakua is a neuroscience researcher currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about using social media platforms to share research with a diverse audience and working with committees to improve the career trajectories of PhD students. Hajer lives in Mississauga, Canada

Hajer Nakua's profile page

Natalya Tariq is an illustrator based in Ottawa, who grew up in Russia and lived in Saudi Arabia. With a professional background in translation, Natalya has a keen interest in different countries, languages, and cultures. She started illustration in 2021 as a hobby and developed her art into a second career.

Natalya Tariq's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Khadija and the Elephant Toothpaste Experiment clearly showcases its authors’s passion for science and their desire to make the field accessible to people from all walks of life. Natalya Tariq’s illustrations lovingly capture the cultural specificity of both characters and settings while remaining vibrant and appealing to young readers.”

Canadian Review of Materials

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