Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colours by Hena Khan and Mehrdokht Amini: A Review

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Paperback, 32 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2015 by Chronicle Books
Source: Raincoast Books

There is a loud call for more diverse voices in literature aimed at any age group and this beautiful book by Hena Khan and Mehrdokht Amini answers that call loudly. Being a POC of colour myself and Muslim, too, I was very intrigued by the possibilities presented by this book. In recent political climes, where actions by a few (insert strong word here) people leads to stereotypes and judgments of the worst kind (but then again, when doesn’t it?), Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns is a beautifully understated way to present a different culture to kids who are learning about the world and the different kinds of people who live in it.

As I discussed in another post, diverse books work in two ways. First, they answer a need in a person to see herself/himself reflected in literature. I know I found a sense of wonder and happiness when I read this book simply because I felt like I was (via the book) sharing my culture with other people. That my culture is beautiful and has worth. Second, diverse books function as windows to other cultures; cultures that dominant groups may not necessarily be exposed to.

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns is a simple book as the following excerpts from it show:

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The book describes the daily life and culture of a Muslim girl. The art is fabulous and one of the major reasons I loved this book. The little poems on each page are rhythmic and are fun to read out loud. I see this book as a springboard off which discussions about different cultures can begin. Whether you are Muslim or not, this book will be a great addition to your classroom, library or collection. Strongly recommended.