Muslim American Heritage Month Kid Lit Review of “Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors” by Hena Khan

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.

Rating: 3.5/5

Published by Chronicle Books, 2012

Product Details
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (June 6, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0811879054
ISBN-13: 978-0811879057


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8 Responses to Muslim American Heritage Month Kid Lit Review of “Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors” by Hena Khan

  1. The illustrations in that book are gorgeous!

  2. Sandy says:

    I think what I love most about these books that you review on the weekends are the illustrations. Like Kathy said, these are amazing.

  3. JoV says:

    that’s a beautiful illustrations. Thanks for bringing this into light and yes we do need to promote cultural awareness and understanding.

  4. Beth F says:

    Although it doesn’t go into depth, the illustrations are beautiful and it seems like a great start to promoting cross-cultural understanding.

  5. Vasilly says:

    The illustrations are amazing! I can’t remember the last time I’ve read a children’s book about Muslims to my kids. Will see if my library has this.

  6. bookingmama says:

    I thought this book was a great introduction to Muslims and their traditions. Of course, I haven’t gotten around to reviewing it yet. Thanks for sharing!

  7. That looks like a good basic introduction to Islamic culture and beliefs.

  8. stacybuckeye says:

    The illustrations are gorgeous. I’ve always wanted to try the henna!

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