Title: The Proudest Blue
Contributors: Ibtihaj Muhammad, S.K. Ali, and Hatem Aly
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Little, Brown Books (Hachette Book Group)
Date published: September 10, 2019
A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school–and two sisters on one’s first day of hijab–by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad.
With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab–a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.
Paired with Hatem Aly’s beautiful, whimsical art, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali bring readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are.
⤖ My Review ⬻
The Proudest Blue was such a beautiful book—when it comes to the illustrations and the story! And while I know close to nothing about hijabs, I think that this book is also a very important book if only because it’s important for young girls wearing hijabs (or who will wear hijabs in the future) to see themselves represented in children’s books.
The story in The Proudest Blue follows sisters Faizah and Asiya on their first day back to school. Something is different for the sisters this year though, and it’s that Faizah has started to wear a hijab. The story takes the girls through the day and shows how they interpret the hijab, their friends, as well as other people who see it as a negative thing. I found this story to be eye-opening as well as heartwarming and definitely recommend it to children and adults of all backgrounds and faiths.
⤖ About the Creators ⬻
Ibtihaj Muhammad, an American sabre fencer, is a 2016 Olympic medalist, 5-time Senior World medalist and World Champion in the sport of fencing. In August 2016, she became the first American woman to compete in the Olympics in hijab and is also the first Muslim woman to win an Olympic medal for the United States. Ibtihaj is a 3-time All American from Duke University, with a dual degree in International Relations and African Studies. In 2014, Ibtihaj launched her own clothing company, Louella, which aims to bring affordable modest fashion to the United States market.
S. K. Ali is the author of Saints and Misfits, a 2018 William C. Morris finalist. She lives in Toronto with her family, which includes a very vocal cat named Yeti. Her second novel, LOVE FROM A TO Z, a story about finding love in the time of Islamophobia, was published on April 30, 2019 by Simon & Schuster. She also has a picture book co-authored with Team USA Olympic Medalist, Ibtihaj Muhammad, THE PROUDEST BLUE releasing on September 10, 2019, published by Little, Brown.
Hatem Aly is an illustrator and cartoonist born in Egypt and currently living in NB, Canada with his wife, son and more pets than people. His illustrated work includes the Newbery Honor winner The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz (Penguin, USA). The Unicorn Rescue Society series also by Adam Gidwitz with several contributing authors such as Jesse Casey, Joe Bruchac, Hena Khan, David Bowles and Emma Otheguy(Penguin, USA). The Story Pirates book series with Geoff Rodkey and Jaqueline West (Random House, USA), Early readers series Meet Yasmin with Saadia Faruqi(Capstone, USA) , and picture books such as How to Feed Your Parents by Ryan Miller (Sterling, USA), The Proudest Blue with Ibtihaj Muhammad & S.K. Ali (Little Brown &Co., USA), Giant Egg with Thuraya Khaled (Kadi & Ramadi, KSA), Takhseera with Naseeba Alozaibi (Dar Alalam Alarabi, UAE).
⤖ Purchase the Book ⬻
⤖ Let’s Chat ⬻
THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS!