When you have a hobby, you know it can sometimes get out of hand, shall we say? And Hana’s hobby in Hana’s Hundreds of Hijabs is fashion! It is making hijabs sparkle and shine with the goodies she finds in her grandmother’s jewelry box and things found at her aunt’s hair salon. But things are getting out of control and are taking over nooks and crannies she did not know the family home had! When she learns about a way to share her talents, and learn a few problem-solving techniques along the way, Hana’s world (and those of her friends, family, and community) is a lot brighter.
I want Razeena Omar Gutta as my friend. Not only would they be a teacher of a culture, but they also seem like they are as colorful as Manal Mirza’s illustrations. There are little clever tweaks to the text. Of course, I might have to have two besties when I make friends with Mirza, too! Their illustrations are as bold and exciting as the text. They tie together everything and show the loud, celebratory, amazing personality of Hana and the people around her. The culture of Hana is shared with us, the details magnificent, and Mirza uses colors that pop off the page.
Perhaps my favorite part of this picture book, due in mid-late September 2022, is the diversity of the characters. You are not told they are diverse. You do not get the usual racism or issues that we unfortunately get in books today. This is a positive look at a culture that shows how we are more alike than we might think, and that we all have similar relatable issues we must deal with.