This post is sponsored. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase using one of my product links.
Raising kids is hard. Teaching our kids how to love and accept the things that make them different and unique is harder. From their peers to the media, our children will be bombarded with messages of “This is how you are supposed to look or everyone has to do xyz in order to fit in.”
Right out of the gate, we as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, community leaders, etc. have to be ready to help our children combat those negative messages. We have to be ready to reassure and remind our children time and time again why diversity is important and why being unique/different rocks!
In Muhiima’s Quest
by Rahma Rodaah and illustrated by Daria Horb, we are introduced to a young girl named Muhiima. The story opens on her 10th birthday. And while making it to another year of life is a blessing and very exciting, Muhiima’s parents don’t believe in celebrating birthdays because of their Islamic heritage and faith. So imagine her surprise when her mom hands her a mysterious treasure map and sends her off a quest to collect even more mysterious little gift boxes.
While on this quest, Muhiima can’t help but wonder why she can’t be like her classmates and friends and traditional birthday parties. In fact, Muhiima is tired of being different and explaining to everyone why she’s the odd girl out. Why does she have to be unique when she could easily be like everyone else? Little does Muhiima know, this mysterious quest is the beginning to that question getting answered.
I truly loved Rodaah’s message not only to kids, but adults as well. Being different has been hard since the beginning of time. Just look at Moses, Noah, and Jesus. It might be 2017 but being different in today’s society is still something that can be struggle. Just ask any Black person or POC in America or non-Christian. I’m confident that the majority of us would say that despite the challenges of what being different and unique brings, we wouldn’t trade our heritage or faiths for the world!
Having once been a kid, I can understand where Muhiima is coming from. There were things my mom didn’t allow me to do because our heritage and beliefs. For example, we didn’t celebrate Columbus Day because we are part Native American. Also, I wasn’t allowed to attend sleepovers and had to dress very modest.
As a parent, I can related to Muhiima’s parents and fully understand why they decided to send her on this quest of self-discovery. It’s hard watching our children struggle with love all of themselves and/or questioning the rules, expectations and traditions we have set for our families when we only want the best for them.
Muhiima’s Quest is a great conversation starter for us as parents and role models to talk to our children or children in our lives about why it’s okay to be different and not to follow the crowd. For parents and role models, I think Muhiima’s Quest is a great reminder that sometimes we have to get creative in order to get through to our children. “Because I said so” doesn’t work all the time and honestly shouldn’t be our default go-to. Kids need reassurance and to know the WHY behind things, especially when it comes to accepting their heritage and religious differences.
Also, this book reminded me that I’m not alone and don’t have to be alone in raising my children and helping them to accept the things that make them unique. We all have a village and we should be using those villages. Sometimes we need to include those people in our discussions with our children when we’re tackling heavy subjects like diversity.
Overall, the kids and I really enjoyed Muhiima’s Quest. The story was great and the illustrations were beautiful. I definitely recommend this book to parents, especially parents of color, who are looking to talk with their children about the importance of diversity and accepting the things about our backgrounds and families that make us unique.
How do you talk to your kids about diversity and embracing their uniqueness?
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