Hana's Hundreds of Hijabs
The most colorful book on the bookshelf might just be Hana’s Hundreds of Hijabs. Open the book and the end papers are orange, purple, green, yellow, pink, and aqua, showing lengths of fabric with many patterns, trims, and styles. These are the hijabs that Hana will wear someday when she’s older.
Hana’s bedroom is filled with art, clothing, hats, blankets in many colors, and even a black cat. She’s old enough to work at her aunt’s hair salon after school. The book target audience is four to nine year olds, but Hana is older than that.
Hana loves to design her hijabs. “Her fingers flow with talent, decorating to be fancier and more flamboyant.”
“Hana is an artist and her hijab is her canvas.
Hana has many friends who need her help when designing their own hijabs.
Hana hatches a hijab-tastic idea.”
She decides to help others with their hijab styles at Aunt Huda’s hair salon. She drags her jewels and materials to the salon and sets up shop.
That’s it, the whole story. Not much happens, there’s not much conflict except that her bedroom’s a mess and her mom doesn’t like it. There’s no epiphany except how to move her mess and help others from the hair salon.
Hijabs are never clearly defined except to say that “she knows it’s important and she feels special when she wears it, like so many strong women she admires, especially Mama.”
The art is swirly and stylish, bold and bright. The pages have either pale colors for background or bright ones (speech bubbles are in white). Young children could spend hours looking at each double-page spread and never get tired of the details.
The book could be an introduction to the Muslim culture, with an explanation about hijabs and why women wear them. At the back of the book, on the Meet the Author and IIlustrator page, one paragraph at the top explains why Muslim women wear hijabs.
The book is only 24 pages, not the usual 32, because there’s not much of a story. However, what it lacks in narrative, the book makes up for in color, color, and more color.
There are many Muslims in the U.S. these days, and it’s important to shine a light on this article of clothing, its religious meaning, and why it should be respected by everyone. There’s even a website listed on the author/illustrator page for more info about hijabs and why women wear them. A teacher or parent might have to do a bit more research to help her students/children understand hijabs.
Every classroom with Muslim children present should have a copy of Hana’s Hundreds of Hijabs.