For my cbr12bingo UnCannon slot
I hope this review shows how much I loved and respect this book. I think this is a book all of us should read. It is not just a picture book, it is a snapshot into a young girls world. A special time in her life. A piece of a culture. The Proudest Blue has been on several reading lists over the last year and is currently popular due to the fact the author, Ibtihaj Muhammad is known for being the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the Olympics. This author is far from the “old white dude” author. Yet, due to her style, a rite of passage is as “normal” as Huck Finn, Harry Potter or Curious George.
Her tone sets up this lovely story about how proud one sister, Faizah, is of her oldest sister, Asiya, when a special event occurs in her oldest sisters’ life. The first time wearing a hijab is presented with love, respect and realism. S. K. Ali and Ibtihaj Muhammad show us a moment in a young Muslim girls’ life. This is all shown with the first day of school outfit. Who hasn’t had that? Carefully picking out your clothes to represent you? It is a rite of passage for all kids. Asiya also uses it to show her respect for her religion. The reader might learn things they might not be aware of. The authors show the realistic love and hate they experience from friends and schoolmates. An author afterwards shows how this story was based on their own experiences. A photograph of Ibtihaj Muhammad’s sisters in their hijab. Due to how the sister of the story picks hers, why blue is important to her, makes me curious why her sisters picked their colors.
Hatem Aly’s soothing images accent, compliment and add to the poetic text. The use of blue and the colors of the illustrations makes everything pop off the page. A piece of a culture most of us might never experience comes to life. Text and art show how we are more alike than not, even when our experiences might not be.