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Yo Soy Muslim: A Father's Letter to His Daughter
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Yo Soy Muslim: A Father's Letter to His Daughter

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  510 ratings  ·  123 reviews
A Huffington Post Most Powerful Children’s Book of 2017

From Muslim and Latino poet Mark Gonzales comes a touching and lyrical picture book about a parent who encourages their child to find joy and pride in all aspects of their multicultural identity.

Dear little one,
…know you are wondrous.
A child of crescent moons,
a builder of mosques,
a descendant of brilliance,
an ancestor
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 29th 2017 by Salaam Reads / Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  510 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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Dannie Moore
"Say it with me:
Yo soy Muslim.
our prayers were here
before any borders were"

This book is absolutely stunning. From the art to the message and everything in between. This book actually moved me to tears in a way a picture book hasn't in a LONG time.

"I speak Spanish, Arabic
and dreams"
There was no doubt in my mind about buying this book for my collection. When I first saw it, I immediately recognized the art style, and knew it was by Mehrdokht Amini, the illustrator for Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns. There is a calming brilliance about her style, so I may buy everything she illustrates.
While I gush about the art, the story is equally amazing. It is written as a letter from a father to his daughter (the author to his daughter, I assume), about her cultural and religious ide
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Crafted as a letter from a father to his daughter, this picture book sings with love. The poetic language of the text soars celebrating their identity as Muslims and Indigenous people who speak both Spanish and Arabic. The book focuses on positivity but also addresses the fact that some people will be unkind, not smile or ask pointed questions. The book then returns to celebrating identity and diversity, strengthening the message of pride. The illustrations are filled with deep colors, natural s ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful book that is all about the beauty of multiculturalism. The subtitle says it is a letter to the author's daughter, but it reads more like a poem. The illustrations are vivid and have nice details. We enjoyed this one.
Stunning illustrations evocative of traditional Muslim art, wonderfully diverse people depicted. The story is easy, and poetic, and warming. This is a perfect story for a storytime, a bedtime, or an adult.
Kristina Jean Lareau
Gorgeous verse, gorgeous illustrations and a heartfelt message. A must read.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
This a beautifully written story of a father’s letter to his young daughter about celebrating her multicultural diversity of being Latin and of the Muslim religion. I loved the use of the Spanish words “yo soy” which translates “I am” and finishing it with “Muslim.” The title captures the daughter’s multicultural diversity with just those three words.
The father wants his daughter to be proud and celebrate her multicultural diversity and addresses the topic of how some people may negatively react
Yo Soy Muslim is an incredibly touching read. The message of embracing your faith, your culture, your heritage even when others might put you down is a touching, powerful, important message. Children should always feel they can embrace every part of themselves and the world around them. This really hit me in my soft places and I couldn't stop smiling while reading it.

This is my second day in a row reading a book illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini and I wish I could just read a new book illustrated
Although the illustrations were lovely and I'm excited for this topic to be represented, the poetry often felt too abstract to me - I often couldn't understand what the author's lines intended. In particular, I couldn't figure out the last few lines, which begin with the words "By those who dance with the wind" but whose reference point I couldn't parse - the previous stanza included a second-person command, "Say it with me," so I didn't follow the poetic segue to "By those who..." Many of the o ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter is a beautifully narrated letter from a father to his daughter growing up in a social context steeped in mistrust and xenophobia. This book is not an introduction to Islam. The elegant verse, originally inspired in part by the poem “Yo Soy Joaquin” written in 1969 by Chicano boxer, poet, and political activist Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, is a declaration of self and reclamation of identity.
The simple yet powerful lyrical verse conveys a significant
Lisa W.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a gorgeous book which I discovered in my local bookstore, searching for great children's books to recommend for the Multiracial community. With stunning, dreamlike illustrations and beautiful language, poignant and touching without being sentimental, I recommend this to anyone of any ethnicity looking to expand their child's view of the world while providing comfort and safety for children who have been asked the question, "What are you?"

There are passing references to God, Allah, prayer
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The descriptions and language in this book are to die for. Absolutely beautiful poetic language.

And having more books to show children they are amazing and loved as they are is great. A lot of books featuring Muslims that I've come across have the darker reality, rather than just outwardly celebrating the beauty. This year, I've seen a few more books being just 100% positive an happy cultural celebrations, written by their own voices, and varying a little bit as different regions/countries show
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
The text of this book is nice, and emphasizes that young people should feel proud to be themselves. The illustrations were beautiful, richly colorful and reminiscent of artwork I saw in Latin America. The best part of this book is the vibrant expression of multiculturalism. This would make a nice gift for a young reader.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mexican, Multicultural, and Muslim picture book requests
Recommended to June by:
Beautiful, lyrical "letter" telling his daughter to be proud of her Mexican, Muslim heritage.
Michael Perez
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book
Interesting read. I do wonder how well this will do outside of Spanish/Muslim readers, but the art goes a long way here. A strong focus on pride and heritage do wonders here.
I mean, those illustrations, those words. I can't get over how incredibly beautiful and inspirational this book is.
Cheriee Weichel
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is as spectacular as everyone says it is and then some.
Tori Lange
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the sweetest books I've read in a long time. Absolutely beautiful.
Rummanah (Books in the Spotlight)
Beautifully written and illustrated. Review coming soon.
Nancy Kotkin
Text: 2 stars
Illustrations: 4 stars

A lyrical poem written by a Muslim Latino father to his daughter. This poem feels very adult to me. I wonder how many children will understand, or relate to, the abstract language, such as:

"There are questions we will ask
when we are learning what it
means to be human."


"a descendant of brilliance,
an ancestor in training."

On the other hand, the illustrations are quite lovely. Definitely the highlight of this picture book.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
LOVE the sweet message, the fusion of the Muslim faith with indigenous ancestors. The reason I gave it only 3 was that the words were so lyrical that they lacked coherence. The syntax was difficult to understand in a picture book format ... case and point the last sentence. It’s beautiful but incomplete, it’s just a dependent clause with a capital letter and a period. It detracts from the message (to me).

Having said all that, I hope we continue to print books like this. It’s helpful to learn abo
Baby Bookworm
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter To His Daughter, written by Mark Gonzales and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini, a powerful look at religious and racial tolerance through an intimately personal lens.

A father speaks to his daughter about the big things in life: the vastness of our planet and the universe beyond; the history that reaches back to earliest man and br
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mark Gonzales is a poet and a distinguished Professor at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. Born into a Roman Catholic Latino family in Mexico, he converted to Islam in his early twenties.

He addresses this book to his daughter, in anticipation that she may [in fact, almost assuredly will] encounter hostility because of what she looks like and what she believes.

He tells her that if “some people in the world will not smile at you,” she should say to them:

Yo soy Musli
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: text-set-muslim
Yo Soy Muslim is a father's letter to his daughter and so falls into the category of poetry and verse. The father is writing to his daughter and tells her about her identity as a Muslim and does so in a beautiful manner. The characters are Laino and could be from Mexico or Central America because the Mayan pyramids are mentioned in the story. The father explains to his daughter that there will be times that you might have questions about the world and similarly the world will have questions abou ...more
Visually appealing digital illustrations soar through the pages of this picture book, leaving readers with a feeling of mysticism and pride. The book is written in the form of a father's letter to his daughter as he celebrates their family's culture. It would seem that he is not only encouraging her to be herself and embrace her own identity fully, but also to prepare for others who may ask questions about that identity such as "What are you? / And / where are you from?" (unpaged). The images of ...more
Oct 13, 2017 added it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: GR list "Muslim YA and Kidlit 2017-2018"
I saw this book recommended lots of places -- including Minh Lê's "Best Picture Books of 2017" awarded this "Most Powerful" -- but I wasn't super into it. I mean, it's not bad, and yay for books about Spanish-speaking Muslims, I just wasn't blown away by it.

The narrative is a ~poem from a father to his daughter, and while the poem grew on me on rereading, I also wondered if some of it makes it almost too mystical ("I speak Spanish, Arabic, and dreams."), like there's no place for a child to jus
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is wonderfully beautiful! It's a proud, hopeful and honest letter from a Latino, Muslim father for his beautiful daughter. I can not recommend it enough!
Sarah Hannah
I never really love picturebooks that are lullabies or prayers or the like, so I really only picked this one up because the title was so intriguing and I was curious about what communities or regions have Spanish-speaking Muslims. This is annoyingly 95% English with random bits of Spanish that don't really follow Spanglish grammar and that were sloppy, like "tu mama" instead of "tu mamá." I am having trouble deciding whether the other thing that annoyed me is a legitimate criticism or not. I don ...more
Kalia Johnson
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yo Soy Muslim: A Fathers Letter to His Daughter is a great poetry book. This was a great book geared for younger children, specifically that were Muslim, to send positive messages about embracing your religion and culture. I actually read this book to my toddlers at work and they absolutely love it, I’ve had to renew it at the library a couple times in a row since I’ve checked it out. The book is illustrated beautifully and uses positive language and metaphors to help children understand the ide ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Absolutely beautiful words and illustrations
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