The Proudest Blue – Ibtihaj Muhammad, with S. K. Ali. Art by Hatem Aly

Standard

Walker Books Australia

February 2020

ISBN: 9781783449712
Imprint: Andersen Press
Australian RRP: $24.99
New Zealand RRP: $26.99

This is a beautiful expression of a strong bond between sisters as well as an empowering story to encourage children to be proud of their culture and to better understand the cultural differences of their classmates. The strong anti-bullying message is one that is of the utmost importance particularly given recent events which have shocked the world.

Ibtihaj Muhammad is an Olympic medallist in fencing and the first Muslim American woman in hijab to compete for the USA in the Games. She is well placed then to share the love between Faizah and Asiya and their strength and pride in their culture, drawing on her own experiences especially at school when she began to wear the hijab. Carrying the wise words of their mother the girls face down the taunts and jeers of ignorant bullies and express the joy they find in their faith and love of Allah.

Little Faizah sees her big sister as a beautiful princess and her new ‘first day’ hijab in deep beautiful blue fills her with happiness. She looks forward to the day when she too can wear the hijab with the same pride and elegance as Asiyah and knows that she too will choose the gorgeous blue – colour of the sky and the ocean.

This is a truly lovely book and one that will become an important and integral staple in your collection.

Highly recommended for young readers from around six years upwards.

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