In behalf of the GatheringBooks team, a very Happy New Year to everyone!
We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2020 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, when we can.
Crescent Moons And Pointed Minarets
Written by Hena Khan Illustrated by Merdokht Amini
Published by Chronicle Books (2018)
ISBN: 1452155410 (ISBN13: 9781452155418)
Borrowed via Singapore’s NLB Overdrive. E-Book photos taken by me.
I have been a fan of Hena Khan and Merdokht Amini since I read their Golden Domes And Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book Of Colors (which I reviewed here).
This book is their latest collaboration that once again transforms a predictably simple concept book to one that is imbued with a clear sense of identity, celebration of culture, while honouring one’s faith in such a quiet and unassuming – but very decisive way.
This picturebook is a testament that there is diversity even within one’s own culture. Now that we have moved here to the United Arab Emirates, I am able to witness firsthand how diversified the Arab culture is – and how people from various races and ethnicities and different parts of the world all honour the same God in their own distinct ways. I rejoiced at seeing that heterogeneity reflected in this beautiful book.
Moreover, each shape has now taken on a sacred significance: from the rectangle door of the mosque to the triangle in the mimbar’s set of stairs. There is a profound and worshipful tone to the narrative that does not pontificate but invites the reader in, regardless of what religious denomination one believes in.
There is also a coming together, a shared sense of community, a festive feeling that resonates throughout the entire book that is nothing short of joyful. This is a book that should definitely be added to anyone’s library. What a great way to greet the New Year: each shape that I see around me is now transformed in my eyes.
#ReadIntl2020 Update: Language: Arabic (bilingual)
Hena Khan is from the US | Merdokht Amini is originally from Iran but live in the UK.