Tuesday 26 June 2012

178. My Own Special Way by Mithaa Alkhayyat Retold by Vivian French, translation by Fatima Sharafeddini

My Own Special Way by Mithaa Alkhayyat Retold by Vivian French, translation by Fatima Sharafeddini, illustrated by Maya Fidawi
Published May 2012 Hachette Australia (Orion)

From the publisher:
Hamda feels left out. She wants to be like her four sisters. One evening she makes a decision, and nobody can change her mind. She wants to wear the veil like her sisters. Each sister puts forward her own suggestion based on what worked for her. But it is up to Hamda to work out her own unique way to wear the veil making it a part of her active and happy life.

I love this Early Reader series.  They are simply told stories with colour illustrations throughout, and the story is broken up into small chapters, so, for the reader it feels like a real novel.  This one particularly jumped out at me because it is a translation, originally published in the United Arab Emirates.

Hamda is the youngest of four sisters.  On this particular day. Hamda really wants to spend time with her sisters. She wants to make necklaces with Hind, go shopping with Fatima and make cakes with Alya, but each sister tells her she is too young to play with them. All Hamda really wants to be is 'big' so that her sisters will play with her.  When she looks at the family photos on the wall, she sees the one thing that shows that her sisters are grown up...they're wearing their veils.  

So Hamda announces to the family that she too is ready to wear the veil, and her sisters all get together to help her chose one, and then learn how to wear it.  Choosing the veil was the easy part, figuring out the best way to secure it is the tricky part.  Each of her sisters show Hamda how they secure their veil, but none work for Hamda, so she has to find her own special way...which she does.

This is a great little book about being the youngest sibling, and always being told you're too small, a theme common in all families.   It's is not a book about why Hamda and her sisters wear the veil, the story is more a universal one about wanting to grow up and be 'big'.  In saying that, it's so nice to see a different culture portrayed in a book for younger readers where it shows that family life is the same no matter where you live.  Being the youngest sibling has the same challenges whether your family live in the UK, Australia, USA or United Arab Emirates.  If you want a book that gives more information on the 'why', then you might like Layla's Head Scarf by Miriam Cohen.

Who will like this book: Girls age 6+
Read it if you like: The Early Reader series

No comments:

Post a Comment