Explorers by Matthew Cordell
Author/Illustrator: Matthew Cordell
Islamic Content: Muslim Family
A little boy and his family are set to spend the day exploring the museum. The little boy has a special flying toy he throws in the air with between the displays. When another little boy (a muslim) catches his toy, he angrily snatches it back. The two families go their separate ways, until he is lost while chasing after his toy. When the Muslim family unites the little boy with his family, a new friendship is born.
This picture book of kindness, forgiveness, friendship and community is entirely presented through illustrations, with no text. Initially, I picked up this book for my son because he loves dinosaurs but once I flipped through the pages, I knew I wanted to have it. Books like these let you and your child be creative in how you want to tell the story. With each flip of the page, the kids are able to understand what is happening and easily grasp the dilemma. The choice of the setting is excellent for this unique storyline. The museum, where our diverse community come to learn the ancient history of different people from different eras; it mirrors the little boys interactions and their opportunity of friendship.
The main character and his family are visibly Caucasian while the other is Muslim (mother and daughter in hijab). There is also a Jewish family shown in one of the pages admiring a display. I just love how the facial expressions show so many different emotions. As a parent, the relatability of our kids running around in sensitive spaces like a museum is just pure gold. There are a few things your child will get out of this book, but if it is one main thing that is made clear it is that we cannot truly know one another if we do not take the opportunity to learn, whether it's an entire culture or an individual. This find is a gem.