Leaves of Gratitude by Ruma Choudhury & Samarra St. Hilaire
📚 Leaves of Gratitude 📚
Author: Ruma Choudhury & Samarra St. Hilaire
Illustrator: Mariam Aldacher
Publisher: Self Published
Islamic Content: Muslim character, Gratitude
Nur's class assignment is to write 10 things she is grateful for on 10 leaves. It turned out that naming 10 things wasn't as easy as she had imagined.
I had purchased this book last year because the title and the gorgeous illustrations caught my eye. To be honest, I couldn't pin point exactly why I wasn't completely satisfied with it. The story is easy and self explanatory. The message of counting blessings is very apparent and Nur gets help from her mother to see that gratefulness isn't found only in tangible things, so what is the problem then?
Do I recommend this book? Yes, absolutely. Does is entail anything problematic from an Islamic perspective? No.
But why choose a Muslim character as a protagonist when there is no depth explored in their Muslim identity? Other than her name and the illustrations, there is nothing else in this book that adds more value to the character. I am not implying that it must include an Islamic perspective on gratitude. No. I can see that this book is targeting the general masses and it is showcasing a diverse set of characters in the classroom. I am simply talking about the natural things that make make a Muslim character more authentic as simple as Muslim greetings.
We see this trend more and more, use a Muslim character by drawing on a hijab and call it diverse. We don't just need Muslim rep, we need authentic and sincere Muslim rep that our kids can resonate with and can see themselves in the story, not just visually but in a wholesome way.