Written by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali and Illustrated by Hatim Ali.
The Proudest Blue is a beautiful story of two sisters and their expression of pride in their Muslim faith. The story is told through the eyes of a young girl named Faizah, who is excited about her and her big sister, Asiya’s, first day of school. But it’s also another special day. It’s Asiya’s first day wearing the hijab. Asiya’s favorite color is blue and so she chooses a hijab that’s the most beautiful and bright color blue to wear on her first day. Faizah is proud of her “princess” sister. When kids at school have negative things to say, Faizah combats their negativity by comparing her sister’s hijab to a bright blue sky on a sunny day or the deepest most beautiful blue of the ocean. She decides not to speak in a whisper when explaining what it is, but speak up loud and proud. She draws pictures in her class depicting her and her sister, the two princesses, proudly wearing their hijabs (she vows her first hijab will be blue also). Most of all she remembers her mother’s words, “Some people won’t understand your hijab. But if YOU understand who you are, one day they will too.”
This book is engaging and told so eloquently that any child would want to read it again and again. The illustrations capture the imagination and make you think of Asiya’s hijab as a force of nature! The lessons of self-pride and sisterly love and support are profound. But to children not familiar with the Muslim faith or the hijab, it will open up dialogue which will lead to a world of knowledge, understanding and appreciation for a culture that’s different from theirs. Definitely a must read for any child.