Saturday, November 16, 2013

Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane

In this picture book, you'll visit the Muslim Country of Mauritania and meet a little girl named Lalla.

Schwartz & Wade sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

This is an excellent chance to introduce your child to another culture.  The clothing they were is different and looks funny to us, but it has meaning and value to them.  This is a short, sweet look at a young girl who is maturing and really, really wants to wear a malafa.  She wants to look like the other women, who look so pretty in the various colors they wrap up in.

As the story goes on, Lalla learns that all the reasons she loves the gowns are just a piece of the puzzle of when she will be allowed to wear one.  Having one attribute is not enough; you have to have all of them to earn the right to wear a malafa.

I've only seen the coverings in black (sort of like the old nun uniforms) but the illustrations in this book by Hoda Hadadi are vibrant with color and the author has spent some time in that community and knows what she's talking about.  It's a delightful story with Lalla finally getting her malafa when she says she wants to wear one and do her prayers with her mother.  That's the final step in growing up.

You can visit another country just by reading this book and it will make you better understand that wearing these robes is not a detriment; they consider it a privilege.

Happy reading.

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