‘Oh, Tayta,’ said Amani. ‘I can’t wait for the wedding! I’m going to have a special dress and wear make-up-‘
‘And throw rose petals,’ added Mariam.
‘You will be the most adorable flower girls, and Sarah will be the most beautiful bride.’
Amani is going to be a flower girl, and she is going to do it perfectly. She practices stepping exactly one, two, three, and makes sure that her dress is just perfect. With her little sister Mariam, also a flower girl, she counts down the dasy to the wedding. But when the time comes to walk into the room full of guests, she feels suddenly shy. With some loving encouragement from Aunty Sarah, Amani is the perfect flower girl.
The Perfect Flower Girl is a wonderful celebration of flower girls and of weddings, especially Lebanese Muslim weddings. At the same time, it is about the specialness of playing an important role in a special event – and the challenges that may pose for a young child, including shyness, worry and even excitement.
For those who may not have experienced Muslim practices, the book offers a glimpse into the rites and traditions of a Lebanese Muslim family, making it a useful learning tool, especially showing the family in their home situation, celebrating, having fun and nurturing each other. For Muslim children, The Perfect Flower Girl is a lovely opportunity to see familiar situations brought to life in book form. And, whatever cultural background they come from, who can’t resist a pretty pink wedding story with sparkly stars on the cover?
The Perfect Flower Girl is perfectly lovely.
The Perfect Flower Girl, by Taghred Chandab & Binny Talib
Allen & Uniwn, 2012
Available from good bookstores or online.