A Huffington Post Most Powerful Children’s Book of 2017
From Muslim and Latino poet Mark Gonzales comes a touching and lyrical picture book about a parent who encourages their child to find joy and pride in all aspects of their multicultural identity.
Dear little one, …know you are wondrous. A child of crescent moons, a builder of mosques, a descendant of brilliance, an ancestor in training.
Written as a letter from a father to his daughter, Yo Soy Muslim is a celebration of social harmony and multicultural identities. The vivid and elegant verse, accompanied by magical and vibrant illustrations, highlights the diversity of the Muslim community as well as Indigenous identity. A literary journey of discovery and wonder, Yo Soy Muslim is sure to inspire adults and children alike.
Mark Gonzales is a father, futurist, and one of the most innovative storytellers of our time. His creative portfolio spans twenty countries and includes: 3 TED stages, HBO Def Poetry, Stanford University, and the United Nations. Yo Soy Muslim is his first venture into children’s literature, a journey inspired by his daughter and the stories she’ll grow up reading. Currently, Mark journeys between California and northern Africa with his family, seeding ways to excite the human imagination.
Mehrdokht Amini has illustrated several books for children including Chicken in the Kitchen by Nnedi Okorafor, which won the 2016 Children’s Africana Best Book Award, and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan. She has illustrated books published in Iran, Poland, Korea, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Mehrdokht grew up in Iran and now lives in Surrey, England. Visit her website at MyArt2C.com.
Publisher: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (August 29, 2017)
Length: 32 pages
Grades: P - 3
Ages: 4 - 8
Lexile ® AD520L
The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
"A poetic celebration of heritage and faith, past and future, this book is unique for its blend of indigenous, Spanish-speaking cultural content with Muslim religious identity. This book will be cherished by Muslim families seeking to boost their children's confidence and intriguing for non-Muslim families seeking to learn."
– Kirkus Reviews
"A lovely and lush celebration of intersectionality and identity. . . . The connection between the girl and her parents is apparent, and the warmth reverberates off the page. Gonzales’s inspirational text is matched perfectly by Amini’s vibrant, jewel-toned illustrations. . . .This exaltation of identity will resonate with fans of Patti Kim’s Here I Am and Hena Khan’s Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns. . . . A strong choice for all picture book collections."
– School Library Journal
*"This startling introduction to faith captures the inclusiveness of Islam as do the following spreads showing children of different races and colors juxtaposed against scenes of nature and art. Using collage-style techniques and featuring bold characters, Amini's joyful, boisterous art soars, and readers may well feel they’re flying, too. A special book that truly seems to “dance with the wind” and “smile at the sun.""
– Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
"This intensely personal book is not meant as an introduction to Islam; instead, it speaks directly to Muslim children growing up in a place where they may be marked as different—children in need of a voice to recognize and speak for them."
– Publisher's Weekly
"Gonzales pens an honest, heartfelt text about the beauty of cultural identity, a loving, compassionate reminder to his daughter to embrace all that she is. Although written in simple, lyrical verse, the text conveys a weighty message."
– The Horn Book Magazine, September/October 2017
Awards and Honors
CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
Kansas NEA Reading Circle List PrimaryTitle
CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts
ILA Notable Books for a Global Society
Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year Selection Title