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
(Amazon | Book Depository)
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.
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