Written by Umm Sumayyah
Illustrated by Hillary Scott
I never set out to publish a children's book, or even write one for that matter. Some random thoughts about special moments shared between my daughter and it all of a sudden became a story. A story that might just be worth illustrating as a surprise gift for my daughter perhaps?
My decision to self-publish rather than submit the manuscript to a commercial publisher has not been without its challenges and hurdles. However, I don't regret it for a moment because the opportunity to work closely with a talented illustrator to bring my words to life has been so much fun and incredibly rewarding.
Virginia's help with critiquing the manuscript was fantastic. Her feedback was detailed, encouraging and always honest. She also provided valuable advice on the rough sketches from my chosen illustrator. Most of all, Virginia helped me see my story from a completely different perspective. Up until that point I never even considered that the book may be of interest to children outside the Muslim community.
In the end, Little Muslimah wasn't just a special gift for one person. It is my gift to the world to try and demystify Islam. To remind us all about what makes us human and that behind all the public media portrayals and personally held stereotypes there are private families just like any other family. In those families there is a special bond shared between a mother and her child(ren).The kind of universal love that exists in communities the world over, regardless of ethnicity, religion or nationality. I sincerely hope Little Muslimah is a book that will be appreciated and enjoyed by children and adults from all backgrounds.