The Proudest Blue: The Story of Hijab and Family By Ibtihaj Muhammad & S.K. Ali, Illustrated by Hatem Aly (2019) – Hardcover
The Proudest Blue is based on Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad’s adolescent experience of wearing a hijab for the first time. In the story, Little Faizah is excited for her big sister Asiya’s first day of hijab at school. But she didn’t anticipate the ignorant and hurtful comments made by some of the students. They don’t see what Faizah sees, a symbol of her faith in the most beautiful fabric and blue hue, it looks like “like the ocean waving to the sky.” After some reassuring words from mom, Faizah finds ways to stand strong and not let others hurtful words break her faith. Hatem Aly’s cover illustration immediately caught my eye; it’s such a powerful image and perfectly encapsulates the story’s message.
Take-away message: Ibtihaj Muhammad and S.K. Ali both wrote heartfelt author’s notes that describe how this book came about and the messages that they hope children take away from their book. I especially connected with Muhammad’s hope that children “see that the parts of ourselves that might make us appear ‘different’ are worth celebrating.”
TAGS: Muslim, Religious, Family, Siblings, Female Lead, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Hardcover