- Deep in the Sahara published by Schwartz & Wade
- Written by: Kelly Cunnane
- Illustrated by: Hoda Hadadi
- We recommend this book for kids ages 4 and up
What It Is
Deep in the Sahara offers a glimpse into the fascinating culture of West Africa, specifically, the Muslim country of Mauritania. More than anything, young Lalla wants to wear a malafa, a colorful veil that Mauritanian women wear to cover their heads and clothes in public. Lalla sees the malaga as beautiful and believes wearing it will make her pretty, just like her mother and big sister. However, her family will not allow her to wear a malafa because her interest appears superficial. It is not until Lalla realizes the that malafa represents faith rather than an expression of beauty that her mother permit her to wear the garment.
Is It Fun?
Like many cultures outside of our own, the Muslim culture seems mysterious. Author Kelly Cunnane was inspired to write this book after living in Mauritania. Like many in our country, she thought that the wearing of a veil was repressive to women, but was surprised to learn that the malafa is intended to be a colorful expression of their faith and culture. This book is a warm tale about growing up with fabulous illustrations that will help teach children and adults about what it might be like to live in the Sahara Desert.
Who It’s For
The publisher recommends this book for ages 4 and up.
What To Be Aware Of
It is available in hardcover and e-book.