This beautiful 32-page picture book by Muslim author Rahma Rodaah radiates joy through the text and illustrations. The powerful and lyrical words on the page inspire confidence to take up space and encourage celebration through their messaging and tone. My three-year-old enjoyed me reading it aloud, it kept his focus and his interest, and my seven-year-old read it over my shoulder and then numerous time on his own. The sway and images painted by the text are so well refined that you could truly read this book a dozen times and still be moved by the passages. The illustrations compliment the author’s message in their reflection of Black children of all shapes, sizes, shades, and mobility. There is even a visibly Muslim woman in hijab (#muslimintheillustration) that looks like the author herself.
I look forward to sharing this book with various story times in the community, in my children’s classes, and in regular rotation at my own home. Framed as a letter to a beautiful Black child, the book speaks to “you.” It starts with encouraging you to stand in your own light, take up space, say your name proudly, and proclaim your native tongue.
It inspires the Black child to speak confidently, roam freely, to be rooted, yet move swiftly. To write the books and tell the stories that only they can tell, and to trust their inner compass. It also reassures them that they are not alone, that there are those that will always help, always cheer them on, and remind them of their glory.
The book is as powerful as it is beautiful and I hope it finds a home on every classroom, library, and home bookshelf. I purchased mine here.