Mommy’s Khimar

Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illus. by Ebony Glenn. Salaam Reads, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-0059-7
Mommy, an African-American Muslim woman, has a closet full of the beautiful flowing headscarves called khimars (another character refers to them as hijabs later in the story). Her imaginative daughter’s favorite khimar is bright yellow, and readers follow along as the young narrator wears it in daylong dress-up play. Enveloped in the scents of coconut oil, cocoa butter, and cinnamon that linger in the khimar, the girl feels protected, loved, and bigger than life. At her mosque, she is welcomed into the world of pious women, as her mother’s friends greet her with, “Assalamu alaikum, Little Sis!” The yellow khimar is also emblematic of the unconditional love within the girl’s extended family: when her grandmother stops by after church (“She doesn’t go to the mosque like Mommy and Daddy do”), she greets the girl with a bright smile and open arms, calling her “Sunshine.” Debut author Thompkins-Bigelow’s lyrical text and Glenn’s lighthearted Disney-style pictures are similarly sunny. Rather than offer an exegesis of the khimar or a plea for acceptance and understanding, they allow their heroine’s carefree confidence to speak for itself. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agency: Bright Group. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/2018
Release date: 04/03/2018
Ebook - 978-1-5344-0060-3
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