Hijab Picture Books for Kids
BOOK REVIEW + FREE PRINTABLE
For My Daughter…
As a revert I only started wearing Hijab when my daughter was about to start Grade 1. It was something I had been considering for awhile, but I hadn’t felt ready to fully embrace it.
That all changed when I realised what my daughter would be facing in the future, as a Muslim woman. The pressures from society to be like everyone else, look a particular way, act a particular way and feel as though you were never enough unless…
Respect For Hijab
I realised she needed a role model to help develop her own version of “normal” that wasn’t just what society dictated to her. A normal that wasn’t based on materialistic desires or the feeling she needed to change to be like someone else. I wanted normal for her to be based on values and good character.
As her Mother it’s my responsibility to be that role model so, amongst many other things, I want to teach her about the beauty of hijab. Regardless of whether she chooses to wear it when she is older or not, I want her to appreciate what it represents.
That’s why I’m so excited to share the following books with you!
If you’re interested in helping your child develop an understanding about hijab as well, then I hope you find these books useful.
What Is Hijab? The word Hijab comes from the Arabic root word ‘Hajaba’, which means to conceal or cover. In Islam it refers to the dress code required to be worn by Muslim women from the age of puberty. Hijab is a term used in regards to covering (or veiling) the entire body except for the face and hands as a means of modesty, self respect and worship. Hijab isn’t just about physical appearance. It also also refers to a person’s speech and actions as these should uphold modesty as well. There are variations of Hijab where a women may choose to wear a covering over her face and hands as well, and this is called a Niqab or Burqa.
My Favourite Hijab Picture Books For Kids
By Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K Ali | Art by Hatem Aly
Faizah and her older sister Asiya are getting ready for the first day of school. It promises to be a very exciting day because Asiya, who is a sixth grader, has decided to wear hijab!
The hijab Asiya has chosen as her ‘first day’ hijab is a brilliant, proud shade of blue “like the ocean waving to the sky… always there, strong and friendly.”
As the two sisters get ready for school, Faizah is in awe of her sister. She’s filled with admiration of Asiya’s beauty and confidence, “it’s like walking with a Princess”, and she hopes that she’ll get to have a ‘first day” hijab in the future too.
While at school Faizah notices kids teasing Asiya in the playgound. She soon realises that not everyone feels the same about her sister’s hijab. Bur Faizah is put at ease when Asiya and her friends dismiss the bully and run off to play. Through her older sister’s actions she sees that the negative comments are not even worth paying attention to!
Acceptance, Self Esteem & Sisterhood
The Proudest Blue is a beautifully empowering story for children written by hijab wearing Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad along with S.K Ali. It’s based on Ibtihaj’s own two sisters and their experience growing up.
Told through the perspective of young Faizah, The Proudest Blue is a universal story of acceptance, having the courage to be who you are and the heartwarming bond between two sisters.
The illustrations by Hatem Aly are vibrant and beautifully poignant…
Asiyah’s flowing blue hijab coming to life on the page. A close up of her face, direct and confident, staring the reader straight in the eye.
The Bullies are faceless shadows, their words scratchy. They could be anyone, but they are nobody worth paying attention to.
A Powerful Message
The way Aisha and her diverse group of friends react to the bullying sends a wonderful message to young readers. As does the words of her mother…
“Don’t carry around the hurtful words that others say. Drop them. They are not yours to keep.”
This is such a gorgeous book about hijab for kids. The lyrical story telling is full of warmth and poetic observations. The illustrations beautifully capture the emotions and thoughts of the characters.
The Proudest Blue is a book about hijab and sisterhood that will be enjoyed over and over again.
“Asiya’s hijab is like the ocean and the sky, no line between them….Saying I’ll always be here, like sisters.”
About the Author: Ibtihaj Muhammad is a fencer who was the first Muslim American woman in hijab to compete for the United States in the Olympic Games. After winning the Bronze medal in the Womens Sabre Team event, she became the first female Muslim American to medal at the Olympic Games. An activist, speaker, and entrepreneur, Ibtihaj has written a memoir, Proud, and inspired the first hijabi Barbie in her likeness.
By Hena Khan | Illustrated By Aaliya Jaleel
Under My Hijab is a glimpse into the life of a young Muslim girl as she shares her admiration for the Muslim women in her family and the community.
As the reader, we are introduced to her Grandmother, Mother, Aunt, Troop Leader, Older Sister and Cousin. Each of them expressing their individuality through their hijab and their hairstyles beneath them.
Female Role Models
Most importantly, we get to see beyond the appearance of each of these women. The roles they play as they go about their day in hijab as a doctor, artist, martial arts student, baker and troop leader are all equally diverse.
Then when they’re at home we see how they relax without hijab.
This allows the reader to see the women beneath the scarf, as confident, talented people beyond the typical stereotypes.
Under My Hijab is a refreshing story for children about a diverse collection of Muslim women. It highlights how each of them has pride in their faith and confidence in who they are, with and without hijab.
The story concludes with the young narrator styling her hijab. Inspired by the Muslim women in her life she ponders her future and it’s endless possibilities.
A Garment Of Faith
The rhyming text makes Under My Hijab a great read a loud book for younger children. It’s also an enjoyable book for girls who are interested or curious about hijab.
The illustrations are warm, inviting snapshots of moments in the main characters daily life. The representation of diversity amongst the characters and people in the background is great to see.
The story itself doesn’t explain to children what hijab is or the Islamic significance it holds. But there is a note about hijab at the back of the book which provides a little more insight.
The fact that some Muslim women (like the author of the book) only wear hijab at certain times, such as when praying or visiting a mosque is also mentioned.
About the Author: Hena Khan is a Pakistani-American Muslim born and raised in Maryland USA. Growing up as a child with a love for books, she enjoys writing for children. Other picture books based on her culture and religion include Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets and Night of The Moon.
Whatever your personal experience is with hijab, it’s an important aspect of Islam for kids to become familiar with.
Hijab is a visual identifier of Islam that holds many misconceptions and stereotypes. Books like these can address these issues early on and enable children to develop a deeper understanding and respect for what it represents.
EXTENDED LEARNING ACTIVITY
As shown in Under My Hijab and The Proudest Blue, hijab can be worn in many different styles and colours. It can be as individual as the person wearing it and is a personal expression of faith.
To build on this idea, I’ve put together an activity to encourage kids to get creative and design their own hijab! What colour would their first-day hijab be if they had to chose one? What designs, patterns or even people inspire them?
You can download my FREE “Design A Hijab” activity here.
Remember to share your child’s hijab designs with us too! Just send a pic or tag us on instagram with @little.wings.creative
I hope you take the time to share stories with Muslim girls that spread a positive message about hijab.
If you aren’t the proud owner of these books yet, then I think “The Proudest Blue” and “Under My Hijab” will be a great addition to your bookshelf. Remember to download and print the FREE “Design A Hijab” activity too!
Do you have a favourite book about Hijab for kids that you think I should include in this review? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.
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