Friday, August 17, 2012

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan

Looking for a beautiful book that focuses on colors and culture of Islam? Accomplished author Hena Khan offers us another insightful and centering book here.  A new author to me, I picked this book off the shelf at the library because of the subtitle, A Muslim Book of Colors, and the lovely cover. Engaged from the start, I read slowly, allowing my eyes to lead me from illustrations to words to illustrations. As I read, I felt this calm settle over me.

Centering on colors, Khan's book introduces her readers to the religious world of the family in the text. The young girl begins the day  kneeling next to her father as he faces toward Mecca and prays. Mom's hijab offers us another entrance into objects and colors of their lives. Gold, orange, black, brown, purple, yellow, and more shower the reader with gentle yet powerful examples of the gorgeous purpose of these objects and practices in the life of one girl's family.

I can imagine using this text as a wonderful diverse welcome to the millions of books focused on color. I often shy away from using color-themed books because I find they often dumb down the issues. Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns presents a completely different way of looking into the lives of people in our world. I am well aware of the power of texts that touch purposefully on cultural practices; this book might just welcome in a young person who has been waiting to see themselves somewhere on the pages of the books in your classroom or home.


  1. Thank you so much for the lovely review! Your reaction to the book is everything I hoped for when writing it.

    1. Thanks for writing such a lovely book! I just love it and keep thinking about it. It is a really powerful statement of being.