Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

I loved Under My Hijab!

Under My Hijab, by Hena Khan/Illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel, (Feb. 2019, Lee & Low), $17.95, ISBN: 9781620147924

Ages 4-8

This rhyming tale stars a young girl who observes members of her family and her scout leader, when they wear hijab, and when they don’t. Grandma wears it to work at the bakery, but at home in her kitchen, her hair is up in a bun. When Mama, a doctor, is seeing patients, she wears a pretty, bright hijab tucked into her coat, and at home, her hair is down as she plants her flowers. Auntie, an artist, has a funky hijab with a jewel, and when she’s home helping our narrator hang her own paintings, she’s got an equally funky hairstyle, complete with pink and purple streaks! Each woman in our main character’s life wears a hijab as individual as they are, and as our little friend tries on her own hijab at home, she plays with accessories and dreams of the bright future in front of her.

What a wonderful way to explain hijab to young readers! The colorful, bright Photoshop artwork speaks of individuality and fun, giving realistic, playful life to the upbeat, lively, and informative rhyme. Back matter explains the meaning of hijab and how some women choose to wear it, while others may not, noting that “it can be a beautiful expression of the Islamic faith”.

An absolutely must-add to your collections and storytimes.  Display and booktalk with Saadia Faruqi’s fabulous second grader, Yasmin, author Hena Khan’s award-winning middle grade novel, Amina’s Voice, and Aisha Saeed’s Amal Unbound. There are great Muslim middle grade and YA resources out there, too: here’s a list of picture books from No Time for Flash Cards; list of books from Diversity in YA; here’s a list from Goodreads, and a great list from Teaching While Muslim. There’s a great interview with author Hena Khan on kidlit ambassador extraordinaire John Schu’s blog, too!


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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