I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All thoughts are my own.
One of the reasons I have been adamant about including diverse books in my children’s library is so they can see themselves in the books they read. I also want my children to see, embrace and celebrate the people and cultures they come across while reading diverse books and in life. A latest addition to our library, Muhiima’s Quest, allowed my daughters to see a glimpse of an unfamiliar culture, yet a life similar to their own.
In this children’s picture book, author Rahma Rodaah shares with readers how Muhiima, a little Muslim girl, celebrates her birthday, ultimately learning to value her uniqueness. This is the first book I have read to the girls that includes Muslim characters, characters in traditional Muslim dress and Arabic phrases, such as “Assalamu alaikum”. Since the girls are only four and five years old, I chose to read this particular book aloud in case they had questions about anything they saw or heard. However, it wasn’t much of a surprise to see them thoroughly enjoy this read without any questions whatsoever. All they saw was a little girl being celebrated. (My kids live for a birthday celebration, you hear me?)
In the story, Muhiima goes on a quest on her bicycle in her neighborhood, visiting people who hold a special place in her life. She’s not sure what the purpose of this parent directed quest is, but along the way she receives a few words of wisdom from special adults in her life and collects little boxes that collectively make up her birthday gift.
I recommend this book for children between the ages of 5 and 8. It is a great read aloud, especially because of length of the book and words on each page. The illustrations are adorable and beautifully capture the culture of a Black Muslim family.
What Can Be Learned from Muhiima’s Quest
Children’s books are great for entertainment, but when they offer more than just entertainment, I consider it a parenting win. A few things can be learned from Muhiima’s Quest. Here are some of my takeaways:
The world is full of many people, cultures, and religions. Our differences make this world the beautiful place that it is. No two people are the same. Respecting and loving everyone, regardless of these differences should be the goal of humanity.
Accept Wisdom from Elders
Each generation is unique with its own perspective of the world. However, the chance to have our elders impart words of wisdom into our lives is a treasure. Let’s love and respect those in our lives who have experienced more, learned more and desire to pour into our lives.
Create Your Own Traditions
It wasn’t custom for Muhiima’s family to make a big fuss during birthdays, but she was still celebrated as a young girl. Birthdays, holidays, and celebrations don’t look the same for everyone. Enjoy creating special moments and traditions that your family will cherish forever.
Get a copy for your young reader and learn more about Muhiima’s Quest and the author here.