“Poetic language, attractive illustrations and a positive message about Islam, without any didacticism: a wonderful combination,” declares <i>Kirkus Reviews </i>in a starred review. <p/>Lalla lives in the Muslim country of Mauritania, and more than anything, she wants to wear a <i>malafa, </i> the colorful cloth Mauritanian women, like her mama and big sister, wear to cover their heads and clothes in public. But it is not until Lalla realizes that a <i>malafa</i> is not just worn to show a woman’s beauty and mystery or to honor tradition–a <i>malafa</i> for faith–that Lalla’s mother agrees to slip a long cloth as blue as the ink in the Koran over Lalla’s head, under her arm, and round and round her body. Then together, they pray. <p/>An author’s note and glossary are included in the back of the book.
To Behzad's childhood
My profound and delighted thanks to Khaled; Diop, his family, and Claire; Brahim; Alia; Khadija; Mina; Moctourna; Amina; Barry; Mahmoud, his sisters, and their mother; Isselmou; Erna and her family; Nagi; my English students; and friends, all of whom told me many wonderful stories and patiently explained their religion of Islam to me.