As a blogger I am very lucky to be sent books to review. It is a joy, a pleasure and an honor. I truly mean that!
Felix, my youngest, is one of those children who asks questions about people really loudly and in public. I am not one to suppress this, I think curiosity is a wonderful thing, something often lost in us as adults. What can be difficult is not causing offence. We live in a diverse world which I love. I love different, I enjoy the differences in people and cultures. I like that my boys are growing up in a world where more and more often, people from different religions, races and cultures mix together. Their school is so much more diverse than mine ever was. However, we still live in a predominately middle class, white and Christian town. When the boys see someone on the street who is dressed a little differently and who has a hat or headwear on they aren't so used to, they ask questions.
I had been wondering for a while how to address these questions, what to tell them. The simple fact was that I did not know the names for many different faith-based head coverings. When I was contacted and asked if we would like to review a book called Hats of Faith all about head covering I jumped at the chance.
I wasn't sure how the Felix would take to the book. It isn't a story book, there's not many words but the illustrations are very eye catching so I needn't have worried. Felix grabbed the book of me straight away and took himself off to have a look at it. Not long after he called me over so he could ask questions and I could read it to him (he's not yet reading properly, he's only 4).
When we look at the book together, I ask him if he's seen anyone wearing any of the head-wear in there. We talk about where he saw the person, what age they were, where they were. He has an understanding of religion. Whilst we aren't religious, he attends church with my Mum now and again so he knows about God, about what Grandma believes. We are now able to discuss other religions and how different faiths have different beliefs and requirements. We can now both name quite a few different faith based head coverings and he now understands why people are wearing them. No more loud questions in public (on this topic at least!).
You aren't going to get a long and relaxing bedtime story from Hats of Faith but you will be able to answer some questions and it's a great springboard for discussions around faith, differences, gender, equality and all sorts of things! As a parent, anything that helps my children understand the world around them and helps grow tolerance and understanding is a great thing.
Hats of Faith was written by Medeia Cohan and illustrated by Sarah Walsh.