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Loujain Dreams of Sunflowers

The story of Loujain AlHathloul is told in symbolism in this lovely picture book, about spreading your wings and flying❤️

Genre: Nonfiction Picture Book

Ages: 5-8

Available: Amazon (preorders before March 1)

This book based on the real story of Loujain AlHathloul was told in a symbolic fantasy, where flying represented driving in Saudi Arabia.

Loujain really wants to fly. She watches her dad fly every day as he straps on his wings (symbolism for getting in the car), and she wants to fly with him. But people laugh at her in school for wanting to fly, and her friend Ali tells her flying is for boys only. When Mama questions this practice, Baba takes Lougain out to fly with him and snaps her photo. It is put in the newspapers an inspiration for all.

I actually really enjoyed the symbolism in the story. I felt like the flying and the sunflowers took an adult conflict and made it child-friendly story full of encouragement to reach for the sky.

The author’s note and backmatter were very informative, and it was sad to hear that though the driving ban has lifted, Loujain is still restricted because of the photo her dad took of her. This form of censorship and oppression truly saddens me, esp in so-called “Muslim” countries. I am glad the book doesn’t specifically point out Islam, although the setting does appear Saudi based on the desert and the clothing/including abaya and the Shemagh of the men (red patchwork scarf). Truly, these acts are not based in religion, although sadly, religion has been used as propoganda for it.

I enjoyed that the mother was so encouraging of her daughter’s dreams and the dad took her by the hand and supported her. I liked that they were shown as kind parents and the book was a good informational read.

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