Informative and genuine, the book offers much to learn about the settings and situations of hijab.

UNDER MY HIJAB

A window into the world of a Muslim-American girl and the diverse women in her family and community.

A young, unnamed female narrator observes the women in her lives in public situations where they wear hijab and other situations where they do not, clearly showing when Muslim women who wear hijab transition into situations and places where they do not wear hijab. Khan connects in words the personality of each woman in and out of hijab. When Grandma is at work baking, “her hijab is carefully folded, / like the crusts on my favorite pies,” while “at home in her kitchen, / Grandma fixes her hair in a bun.” When she’s in her shared studio, an aunt’s hijab “towers up high, / pinned with a handmade jewel,” but at home the narrator can appreciate how her hair “is streaked pink and purple.” Jaleel’s illustrations pair well with Khan’s text, depicting some of the various ways hijab is styled. Though specific ethnicities are not mentioned, the family is multiracial, with the grandmother and father appearing black, a light-skinned mother and other female relatives, and friends with various skin tones. Women are also varied in ages and body shape. An endnote provides further information about hijab, what the word means, when women choose to wear it, why they choose to wear it, and that some women, like the author of the book, choose not to wear it.

Informative and genuine, the book offers much to learn about the settings and situations of hijab. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62014-792-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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An uplifting, rhyming picture book offering food for the soul.

A SPOONFUL OF FAITH

A mother teaches her daughter a special recipe to help feed her faith.

Layla, a young, brown-skinned girl, is ready yet nervous for her first day of school. Seeking a confidence boost, she goes in search of her mom—“’Cause mamas can help / when you need love and calm”—and finds her in the kitchen. “Hey, sweetie, sit here / Let’s make a quick meal / that’s full of good things / to help how you feel,” her mother suggests and fishes out a recipe book. The recipe for the meal includes many ingredients, but none of them are tangible. Instead, courage, “a spoonful of faith,” “dashes of kindness,” “handfuls of hope,” “pinches of prayers,” and warm hugs go into the mixing bowl. To concretize these virtues, the artwork uses a visual motif of hearts and flowers. Once the meal is ready, Layla hesitantly looks into the bowl, unsure what to make of the imaginary repast, but a word of wisdom from Mama helps her realize the true source of her emotional sustenance and strength. The illustrations, created using digital watercolor, pencil, and gouache brushes in Procreate, are soothing, with soft pastel colors. While God is mentioned, there are no references to any specific religion.

An uplifting, rhyming picture book offering food for the soul. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-301781-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

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With a universal message of love and community, this book offers a beautiful representation of a too-often-overlooked...

MOMMY'S KHIMAR

From a debut author-and-illustrator team comes a glimpse into a young American Muslim girl’s family and community as she walks around in “Mommy’s khimar,” or headscarf.

The star of this sunny picture book is a young girl who finds joy in wearing her mother’s khimar, imagining it transforms her into a queen, a star, a mama bird, a superhero. At the core of the story is the love between the girl and her mother. The family appears to be African-American, with brown skin and textured hair. The girl’s braids and twists “form a bumpy crown” under the khimar, which smells of coconut oil and cocoa butter. Adults in her life delight in her appearance in the bright yellow khimar, including her Arabic teacher at the mosque, who calls it a “hijab,” and her grandmother, who visits after Sunday service and calls out “Sweet Jesus!” as she scoops her granddaughter into her arms. Her grandmother is, apparently, a Christian, but “We are a family and we love each other just the same.” The illustrations feature soft pastel colors with dynamic lines and gently patterned backgrounds that complement the story’s joyful tone. The words are often lyrical, and the story artfully includes many cultural details that will delight readers who share the cheerful protagonist’s culture and enlighten readers who don’t.

With a universal message of love and community, this book offers a beautiful representation of a too-often-overlooked cultural group . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0059-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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