It’s Monday, What are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.
Three weeks ago, I featured Patricia Toht’s Dress Like a Girl. Today, I’m happy to share two picture books that also involve young girls who value their worth and take pride in who they are.
The Dress and the Girl
Words by Camille Andros
Pictures by Julie Morstad
Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers (2018)
The dress loved the girl,
and the girl loved the dress.
In The Dress and the Girl, a mother made a dress for her daughter. The girl wore the dress when she rode a wagon, sailed a boat, and played tag with her friends. One day, the girl and her family packed up and left their home in Greece to build a new life in America. The girl’s dress was packed up and folded in a trunk. The girl moved on. Years later, a woman holding the hand of a little girl was walking down the street. She stopped abruptly when she saw something familiar by the display window in the thrift shop. Could you guess what it could be?
Camille Andros tells a lovely story about our sentimental attachment to certain things. They become part of our story and part of who we are. Sometimes, we give them to the people who are dear to us, and these things become part of their lives as well.
The Proudest Blue
A Story of Hijab and Family
Written by Ibtihaj Muhammad and S.K. Ali
Illustrated by Hatem Aly
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2019)
Asiya’s hijab is like the ocean waving to the sky. It’s always there, strong and friendly.
In The Proudest Blue, sisters Asiya and Faizah were getting ready for school. That particular day was very special. It was Asiya’s first day of hijab at the start of a brand-new year. The first day of hijab was very important in their culture. It meant being strong. Their mother picked the pink hijab but Faizah knew her big sister better. Asiya the brightest blue, just like the ocean. Asiya wore her hijab with pride. Faizah could not wait for her first day of hijab!
“I wanted to tell this story so that children who look like me could see themselves in a picture book… So that they can see two sisters taking pride in hijab, and see that the parts of ourselves that might make us appear “different” are worth celebrating.”– Ibtihaj Muhammad
Olympic medalist and activist Ibtihaj Muhammad has written a beautiful and inspiring story about family, faith, and self-love. The Proudest Blue is one of the best picture books I’ve read this year. I hope you get to read it, too!
“You are more than the whispers, the laughs, the hurtful words said. You are cherished and loved.”– S.K. Ali
This is a YA novel about a young girl who follows a mysterious list and travels across the country after her older sister’s death.
I’ve read this earlier this year. I’m re-reading this retelling of Beauty and the Beast for our Fantasy Fiction Fanatics Book Club in December.