One of the reasons why we have reading themes here in GatheringBooks is to diversify our reading experience and for us to be led to books that we would not otherwise have known. As we celebrate a “Buffet of Asian Literature” until the end of June, we are happy to share more books from the Middle East, such as the one you see here.
While I generally am not a fan of rhyming text, this concept book of colors made me fall in love with the gorgeous imagery, tapestry, and care woven into the fabric of this picturebook. It is a beautiful introduction to a Muslim’s way of being or their “deen” as demonstrated through bright splashes of colors as you can see here:
From the blue hijab to the white kufi,
to the brown dates (which I enjoyed so dearly when I was in Bahrain), the orange leafy henna designs, and the yellow zakat – one gets a taste of the things valued and shared by the Muslim community. I also love how the entire narrative sounds so natural and not contrived – and while it is meant to convey information, it never sounded didactic, but more a celebration of life, light, and love. My absolute favourite is the silver fanoos:
… the silver lantern made out of tin and glass. The Glossary of terms at the end also indicated that “In Middle Eastern countries, fanoos are lit by children in celebration of Ramadan.”
Find this book, dear friends. It would make for a wonderful addition to your multicultural text-set in the classroom.
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. Published by Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2012. Book borrowed from the public library. Book photos taken by me.