BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Perfect Flower Girl by Taghred Chandab, illustrated by Binny Talib

Perfect Flower GIrlAwww … who doesn’t love a joyous wedding? In this delightful cross-cultural Muslim marital fest, Amani is determined to be the best flower girl ever for her Aunty Sarah. Even when her little sister Mariam won’t join her, Amani practices her flower girl walk diligently and regularly: “‘It’s a very important job, leading the bride and groom,'” she admonishes her distracted sister. “‘It must be perfect.'”

The preparations are many (and hunger inducing – I can practically smell that kibbeh!), and the excitement builds as the festive date gets closer. A special dinner, the glamorous dress fittings, and Aunty Sarah’s laylia (a no-men-allowed party complete with fabulous fashion show during which Amani and Mariam get to don “spectacular belly-dancing costumes”) make the time pass quickly. Soon enough, the katb il kitab – the marriage ceremony performed by a sheikh the night before the wedding party – is already here … with more of Tayta (grandmother)’s cooking, oh be still my belly! The next morning with tummies all aflutter, the celebrations are about to begin … will Amani be the perfect flower girl?

Australian author Taghred Chandab (currently living in the United Arab Emirates) continues her goal of “promoting better understanding between Anglo-Australian culture and Islamic culture in Australia” through her writing. Thanks to our global markets, that understanding doesn’t have to stay limited to Down Under … we certainly can always use more Stateside – glittering sequins, swirling henna patterns, rose petals, and all. Here’s to many, many love-filled celebrations across borders.

Readers: Children

Published: 2012 (United States)


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