Review: Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan

golden domes

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini

This color concept book introduces young readers to Islam and the many gorgeous colors of that religion and culture.  So when the red of the prayer rug is talked about, so is praying five times a day.  There is the blue of her mother’s hijab, used to cover her hair.  Orange is the color of henna.  Yellow is the box for Eid gifts for those in need.  Green is the color of the Quran.  In each instance and others, the culture is woven into the colors in a beautiful and effortless way.  This is a look at Islam that is lovely, welcoming and filled with light and color.

Khan’s writing is very simply done.  The colors are natural fits with their objects in Islam, none of them seem forced at all.  She explains each color and object in only a few lines, leaving the bulk of the book for the beauty of the illustrations.  Amini’s work has a wonderful richness to it where she dedicates the entire two-page spread to one specific color, changing the background too.  She also uses textures throughout and a softness that makes it all the more inviting.

A beautiful tribute to Islam, this book will fill a niche in many public libraries.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Chronicle Books.