Nadia's Hands

by Karen English and Jonathan Weiner

Nadia is going to be a flower girl for Auntie Laila’s wedding. For little Nadia... read more

Nadia is going to be a flower girl for Auntie Laila’s wedding. For little Nadia this means having her hands decorated with mehndi, something about which her relatives are much more excited than she is. She knows the markings will still be there on Monday when she goes to school. Even though Auntie Amina sings in Urdu while she creates the mehndi, it’s difficult for Nadia to have the patience her family calls sabr. Her hands now look as if they belong to someone else. After the ceremony her grandmother comments that she’s looking at her past and future at the same time when she sees the intricate red markings on her granddaughter’s hands. Nadia senses the deep cultural connection. She will claims it for herself - even on Monday. Weiner’s full-color, full page illustrations done in oil pastel complement English’s fictional glimpse into a contemporary Pakistani-American girl’s brief struggle with the meaning of a traditional Pakistani practice. A brief glossary ends the picture book story. (Ages 5-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2000

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