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written by Sara Arnold

illustrated by Roberta Malasomma

When Almaz makes a mistake in school, she’s really embarrassed! Other kids tease her because they don’t understand her Ethiopian culture. How can she use her family’s traditions to make friends? She needs to host a BIG BUNA BASH!

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Meet the Author

Sara Arnold is just a woman who loves coffee, especially buna! Born in the U.S., Sara immigrated to Israel in 1981, and she now teaches English in Jerusalem. She hopes this book will encourage children to understand and respect people different from themselves. The Big Buna Bash is Sara’s first publication. Visit Sara online at

Press Kit


Formats: Paperback

Pages:  36

ISBN: 978-1-951565-02-2

Release Date: 7/5/22


“This is a sweet story. It’s so touching to see young Almaz decide to turn an uncomfortable situation into an opportunity to rise to the occasion and share her unique cultural traditions. That is a good trait to learn in life. I appreciate Sara Arnold’s initiative in writing this book, not only because it gives young readers a chance to experience our Ethiopian culture through the traditional buna ceremony that brings people together, but also because Almaz can be a role model to younger generations everywhere. It is a story that says, ‘Do not be afraid of being who you are. What makes you different can be difficult sometimes, but it can also make you unique and interesting to others.’ In times like these, we definitely need more stories like The Big Buna Bash!”

—HIH Prince Joel David Makonnen Haile Selassie


“Coffee lovers will enjoy learning about the buna ceremony in this cute story of a young girl’s Ethiopian coffee-drinking tradition.”

—Christie Wright Wild, children’s book author


“It’s a ‘we’ world—and our children must be exposed to different races, cultures, and customs. That’s why I love The Big Buna Bash. Almaz makes a mistake at school, but stands up to peer pressure in a courageous and kind way by sharing her family’s Ethiopian tradition. In the process, she shows all children that differences can bring you together, and she helps kids see our similarities. That’s how we raise a kinder, stronger, more empathetic generation of children—by turning me to we!”

—Michele Borba, EdD, author of Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World

Meet the Illustrator

Roberta Malasomma was born in Naples, Italy. In 2013, she earned her bachelor’s degree in graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts. Using her passion for drawing, Roberta followed her dreams and started illustrating children’s books. Her favorite illustrators are Beatrix Potter and Helen Oxembury.

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