Muhiima’s family doesn’t usually celebrate birthdays, but when she wakes up one summer morning one year older and wondering if she looks different, her mother hands her a wrapped box and a map. She explains that Muhiima will go on a quest on this special day.
Muhiima sets off on her bike and visits her father’s bookstore, her grandmother’s house, her Quran teacher at the masjid, her aunt’s henna salon, and her uncle on the basketball court. At each stop, she receives another wrapped box and a piece of advice. “Don’t forget your roots.” “Walk in modesty.”
When she finally arrives back home, everyone she met on her quest in awaiting her in her decorated house. Her mother helps her open all of the little packages, taking a single pearl from each one that she threads onto a necklace for Muhiima to wear.
Muhiima gets to bask in the love and support of her family on her special day, and readers will benefit from the lesson that different families do things differently.
The illustrations are fun and whimsical; here are my favorites.
Black lives matter. They have always mattered, and they will always matter.
The Prophet ﷺ said that when we see an evil, we should change it with our hands, and if we can’t, we should change it with our tongues. In that spirit, get to work. Go to a protest. Contact your elected officials. Donate. Sign a petition. Speak up in your community. Call out friends and family if they say something racist. Interrogate your bookshelves. Make dua. And, most importantly, if you’re not Black, educate yourself and your children.
Ways to help from BLM: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/
Children’s Books Featuring Black Characters
Black Books Matter: Children’s Books Celebrating Black Boys
Broadening the Story: 60 Picture Books Starring Black Mighty Girls