emergent readers, Key Stage 1, pre-school, picture book, ages 4-6, Muhammad Ibtihaj, Ali S KL, Aly Hatem, bullying, prejudice, otherness
Asiya, her sister and mother go to the shop to buy Asiya her first grown-up hijab. Previously she has only worn one for special occasions and then gradually at school if she has no sports lessons. Now she must start wearing one all the time. Her mother wants her to have a pink one but she chooses a vibrant blue one.
The story is told form the point of view of her younger sister who is very proud of her sibling in her new hijab. Unusually the story for this reader the story is told in a first person narrative. Asiya’s younger sister makes the comparison between the hijab and themselves; the blue is how the ocean meets the sky and in the same way that there is no line between her and her sister. One day others will understand the hijab. There is some bullying and lack of understanding but the two girls stay strong.
The text is not too dense. It is printed in an adult but large font. There is information about the writers and the illustrators at the back and also a note from Ibithaj Muhammad, an Olympic fencer. Muhmmad describes her experience of wearing a hijab and what it means to her.