Thursday, January 31, 2019

Review - Mommy's Khimar

Mommy's Khimar
by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
illustrated by Ebony Glenn
Date: 2018
Publisher: Salaam Reads / Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Selected as a Best Book of 2018 by NPR, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and Shelf Awareness!

A young Muslim girl spends a busy day wrapped up in her mother’s colorful headscarf in this sweet and fanciful picture book from debut author and illustrator Jamilah Tompkins-Bigelow and Ebony Glenn.

A khimar is a flowing scarf that my mommy wears. Before she walks out the door each day, she wraps one around her head.

A young girl plays dress up with her mother’s headscarves, feeling her mother’s love with every one she tries on. Charming and vibrant illustrations showcase the beauty of the diverse and welcoming community in this portrait of a young Muslim American girl’s life.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This picture book is absolutely adorable! It follows a little girl as she tries on her mother's headscarves. The reader can clearly see how much love the child has for her mother (and the rest of her family, including her Christian grandmother), and what the khimar means to her. When she's wearing it, she envisions herself as a queen, a shooting star, and even a superhero.

The illustrations are not what I was expecting. The cover doesn't really do the rest of the book justice. The expressions on the characters' faces are wonderful, and almost remind me of Disney animated characters. They're so colourful and cute.

I did wonder where the term "khimar" came from. The girl states that her Arabic teacher calls it a "hijab", but there was really no discussion about why, or where the different terms originated. That might've been nice to have in an author's note at the end.

Overall, though, I really liked this book. It's a wonderful introduction to the concept of headscarves for non-Muslim children, and a celebration of culture for Muslim readers.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 5/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.5 out of 5

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