While Muslims still make up less than 2% of the U.S. population, studies project that number will double in the next two decades. Nevertheless, many Americans don’t know much about Muslims at all, and can be suspicious of what they don’t understand.
This beautifully illustrated book explains for young readers some basic aspects of Muslim culture. Each concept is identified by a different color. For example:
Gold is the dome of the mosque, big and grand.
Beside it two towering minarets stand.”
Brown is a date, plump and sweet.
During Ramadam, it’s my favorite treat.”
White is a kufi, round and flat.
Grandpa wears this traditional hat.”
Deep explanations are generally eschewed for most of the rhymes. For example, we only learn that:
Blue is the hijab Mom likes to wear.
It’s a scarf she uses to cover her hair.”
Orange is the color of my henna designs.
They cover my hands in leafy vines.”
A glossary at the end also includes short explanations of the customs not elucidated in the two-page spreads making up the main part of the book.
The author says she was inspired to write this book by the desire to bring classical elements of Islamic art into a modern setting. The illustrations by Mehrdokht Amini are absolutely stunning.
Evaluation: As of 2010, there were an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims in the world! This number is expected to climb to 2.2 billion by 2030. This is a lovely book that will provide a rudimentary knowledge of, and positive appreciation for, a culture that is so important to so many.
Published by Chronicle Books, 2012
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (June 6, 2012)
For more multicultural picture books, check out all the resources at The Birthday Party Pledge, a new website dedicated to promoting gifts of multicultural books to the children in our lives.
For more reviews of books for children and teens, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection, posted on Saturdays. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.