Written By: Hena Khan
Illustrated by: Saffa Khan
For Ages: 3-6 years
Language: English & Arabic
Topics Covered: Muslim Families, Children, Love, Growing Up, Own Voices.
This is a very sweet book in which a mother describes all that she wishes for her child to be. It reminds me of Sweetest Kulu in the way each page starts with the same phrase (in this case it’s “Inshallah…”) and is a beautiful portrayal of love for a child.
I think nearly all parents can relate to having hopes and dreams for their child, and this book filled with sweet wishes and even sweeter illustrations exemplifies this. The artwork inside the book is beautiful, colorful, and shows a loving Muslim family with a child that is growing up and learning. The story is lovely in the way that it references the Quran and the impact it has on the family. Normalizing other lived experiences that aren’t strictly white and Christian are so important, and books like this are a great way to build bridges. I talk a lot about windows and mirrors in books (shoutout to Rudine Sims Bishop & Emily Style!) and gorgeous stories like this is a perfect example. Hena Khan is such a talented author, and this is just the latest example of her aptitude to connect with readers on an emotional and sentimental level.
This book was kindly sent to me by Chronicle Kids Books, but all opinions are my own.
Hena Khan is a Pakistani-American Muslim who was born and raised in Maryland, and enjoys sharing and writing about her culture and religion. She has also written about a bunch of other topics, from spies to space travel, that take her out of her reality and on adventures. While not quite as thrilling, she’s had a few adventures of her own, managed to get to some pretty fantastic places on our planet, and met incredible people. She’s slightly obsessed with Spain, ceramic tiles and pottery, food, flamenco, and good coffee. When she’s not cooking up a story, she’s often actually cooking food or baking treats. She also spends time writing and editing for international organizations that work to improve the health and lives of people around the world.
Saffa Khan is an artist focusing on illustration and print through DIY culture, creating tangible, self-published printed matter on the themes of identity, community and mental health. They utilise print as an accessible medium to skill-share and platform marginalised communities with their riso press, Tender Hands.