Book review: Leila in Saffron, by Rukhsanna Guidroz, illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova

Guidroz, Rukhsanna. Leila in Saffron. Illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova. Salaam Reads, 2019. $17.99. ISBN 9781534425644. Unpaged. Ages 4-8. P8 Q9

Young Leila is off to Naani’s home for their weekly family dinner. Naani greets Leila with a compliment about the saffron beads on her dress, but Leila is not sure if she likes what she sees when she looks in the mirror. Leila uses the visit to look for things she likes about herself, and finds them in her family, in the beautifully decorated Pakistani home, the meal she helps to prepare, and in the special love a grandma has for her granddaughter.  The color visuals in the book are very eye catching and immerse the reader in Pakistani culture. A glossary at the back of the book gives both the pronunciation and definition of unfamiliar words used in the story.

Verdict: A beautiful multicultural book for both the library and the classroom with an important message of self-worth that all can benefit from.

November 2019 review by Denyse Marsh.