I have lived in 3 countries with a large population of Muslims, and I am ecstatic to see more picture books recently that highlight stories of Islamic heritage and faith. Muhiima’s Quest is a lovely and inspiring picture book that takes you on an adventure through a birthday scavenger hunt. This book is a wonderful addition to a diverse bookshelf. This book is relateable for all readers as they can share in the excitement of opening birthday gifts and celebrating a milestone! (Target audience: 7-10 years old)
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book from the author to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are my own.
This book immediately caught my attention as Muhiima awakens on her birthday to find that her family has organized a scavenger hunt for her. This family tradition of planning scavenger hunts to find presents is one that my family also shares. The book takes you a bike adventure through the city as Muhiima follows the carefully drawn map.
This book puts a unique twist on the familiar birthday experience that will surely engage children. Muhiima’s quest is to simply follow the directions and not ask questions; the book has universal appeal to children and adults as we discover the puzzle along with Muhiima.
Muhiima’s Quest has a myriad of loveable characters in her family that we meet as she takes her journey. The illustrations are both engaging as well as tools for teaching about the Islamic traditions and faith. As I read this book aloud to my own daughter, I was able to easily weave comprehension and reflection questions. The narrative, as well as the message the book was trying to convey, is very interactive.
There is a surprising gift to commemorate a rite of passage at the end of the story. The birthday celebration with her entire family will give you a feeling of satisfaction and exuberance for the characters.
Book Discussion Questions
Understanding Islamic stereotypes about females is significant, especially in today’s political climate. There are far too many books, magazines, and movies showing harmful portrayals of females that adhere to the Muslim faith. Global Fund for Women has showcased 9 inspiring women shattering Muslim stereotypes and I have made a list of 50 diverse children’s books for strong girls. Having representation of strong female role models in children’s books is crucial for cultivating gender equality ideals from birth.
I highly encourage you to add Muhiima’s Quest to your multicultural library. This book is a great tool for teaching reading strategies. Additionally, it can help you teach themes of inclusion, self-confidence, faith, and diversity. The book itself has a page in the back to write down “pearls of wisdom”. This is perfect way to reflect on the moral and ethical message, as well as encourage writing extensions and teach children to journal. This reflection page encourages activism in our young children. by taking an active role in reaching the needs in their communities, as well as on a global scale.
Again, I recommend reading this book aloud with children 7-10 years old. Alternatively, children can read the book independently, but note there are many pages with long paragraphs and rich vocabulary.
“Know your value and hold your head high”- Muhiima’s Quest
Read Your World
We invite you to join our Facebook group: Read Your World: Resources for Multiracial and Multicultural Families!
First and foremost, this is a supportive group to encourage literacy and literacy skills. We want to engage children with reading strategies that foster a love of books. However, choosing quality books that are also diverse is instrumental in raising readers as well as raising activists. Teaching kids how to read and what to read is vital to help children reach their ultimate goals.
We want you to ask questions, share advice, and challenge our thinking to give our unique families the safe space to connect and grow. This group is multiracial, multilingual, multicultural, and multi-talented. Through the people in this group, you will hopefully feel a little more interconnected to the world than you were before.
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