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HATS OF FAITH by Medeia Cohan-Petrolino


by Medeia Cohan-Petrolino ; illustrated by Sarah Walsh

Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-9576364-7-7
Publisher: Chronicle Books

What are you wearing on your head?

This board book is an introduction to traditional religious head coverings from different faiths. “Many religious people share the custom of covering their heads to show their love for God,” it opens. Each page presents an illustrated portrait of a person from a particular religion, faith, or culture wearing their head covering. The painterly portraits show people of varied skin tones, eye colors, and hair colors and are religiously accurate—the South Asian Muslim man wearing a topi has a full beard, and the young Jewish boy wearing the kippah has long sidelocks. The spare text includes the name of the head covering, its phonetic pronunciation, and the faith/culture where it is often worn. “This is a Patka (Putt-kah), / which many Sikh boys wear.” It celebrates Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, Rastafarian, and Christian head coverings. There are other words that can be used for the same head coverings that are not mentioned (yarmulke for kippah, dupatta for chunni), and some of the pronunciations may be suspect (tou-pi or toh-pi? choon-ee or choon-nee?). Despite this, it is a book in which global kids can see themselves and others, a mirror as well as a window. With no real context supplied, this serves as just an introduction.

A useful starting point for an interesting discussion with preschoolers and elementary school students on head coverings, faith, and respect in our diverse world.

(Board book. 3-7)