Under My Hijab by Hena Khan and Aaliya Jaleel

Hello, Hena Khan!

Hena: Hello! I’m so delighted to be back here with you again and to share this book with you. 

I’m delighted you are here to share Under My Hijab with me and the world.

Hello, Aaliya Jaleel!

Aaliya: Hi Mr. Schu, thank you so much for having us! It’s a pleasure to be here.

It is a pleasure to have you here. Thank you for stopping by to celebrate Under My Hijab’s beautiful cover.

I wrote the words in purple, and Hena wrote the words in black. 

Under My Hijab tells the story of a young girl and the inspiring women and older girls in her life, who wear the hijab in distinct ways that reflect their personalities and styles. It helps to demystify this often misunderstood piece of cloth, and instead celebrates the modern, independent, educated, and diverse American Muslim women who choose to wear it with elegance and dignity. At the same time, the book is lighthearted and fun, with friendly rhyming text and bright and lively illustrations—and it’s not overly instructional!

Aaliya Jaleel’s illustrations are simply stunning, and everything I hoped they would be and more. She brings the characters to life on every spread, with the perfect balance of warmth and joy. I love the fact that the illustrations portray a modern interracial American Muslim family, and that elements like the décor and backgrounds will be familiar to everyone. Aaliya’s art subtly reinforces the idea that Muslims are American, and that we share in American culture, rather than overemphasizing immigrant roots. And her whimsical touches and rich details invite readers to linger over the pages for a while and savor the experience.

Picture books are the magical result of artistic collaboration. As a picture book writer, I’m always amazed to see my words transformed and elevated by the illustrations, blended together for the perfect storytelling experience. Picture books offer readers something new every time they look at them, whether they choose to focus on aspects of the art or the language, and immerse themselves into a different world for a few pages.

I wrote the words in purple, and Aaliya wrote the words in green

Hena Khan’s manuscript for Under My Hijab was everything I needed as a child, being self-conscious about my faith and my appearance. I hope this book helps others to better understand the diversity of women that wear the hijab as well as give confidence to the young girls that don’t quite see themselves represented in media yet.

Under My Hijab’s cover is a work of love between everyone involved. Having our beloved main character wearing the hijab so proudly and depicting it in a positive light is an important image during these politically turbulent times.

Picture books are connections to places and worlds, but most importantly, people.

Look for Under My Hijab on January 22, 2019. 


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