Book Review: The Proudest Blue - A Story of Hijab and Family

Author: Ibtijah Muhammad and S.K. Ali
Illustrator: Hatem Aly

From the Book Jacket: The first day of wearing hijab is important. It means being strong. 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 school year and best of all, it's her older sister Asiya's first day of hijab - made of a fabric of beautiful blue, 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. 

Olympic medalist Ibtijah Muhammad brings readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Of all the books I read this past year to the students, THIS WAS THE ONE. This was the one that helped kids have even a bigger mind and heart shift when it came to looking outside of themselves and what others are going through. How others are being treated because of their religion, culture, and what they wear. Really love this story and how it came into our lives this year. Forever changed. 

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Book Review: A Whale of a Mistake

Author/Illustrator: Ioana Hobai

From the Book Jacket: When you make a really, really big mistake, it can make you feel stuck or weigh you down or even swallow you whole! After a girl is carried away by her whale of a mistake, she feels adrift. What if she can't escape and the whale swims out to sea with her forever? What if this is her life now? But as her journey continues, the world around her, including a sky of shooting stars and even the whale itself, helps her explore all the feelings that come with making mistakes and learning to let them go. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This is a great book about not letting your mistake control or stop you from what you are trying to accomplish. The little girl in the story feels she can never escape her terrible mistake. Eventually she is brave enough to let it go and she watches it fade away. This is a terrific message for children to validate the feelings that come with a mistake but to encourage them to move on from their mistake. We are not our mistakes!

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Book Review: Words Are Like Faces

Author: Edith Baer
Illustrator: Kyra Teis

From the Book Jacket: Edith Baer's playful, yet thought provoking rhyming poem, coupled with Kyra Teis' colorful illustrations, captures the significance of words in everyday life. Although the couplets are easy to memorize and lucid, the underlying meaning conveys the role of language in building a human community, which connects, informs and nurtures through dialogue.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Absolutely love this wonderful and simple book about the power of our words. Favorite page in this book reminds us to be careful with our words, for they can't be unsaid. Lets be mindful of our language and encourage each other to express ourselves in a healthy way. 

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