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Mama Shamsi at the Bazaar

I am absolutely in love with this gorgeously written, gorgeously illustrated book set in a marketplace in Tehran, Iran!❤️

Genre: Picture Book

Ages: 4-8

Author: Mojdeh Hassani and Samira Iravani

Illustrator: Maya Fidawi

Publisher: Dial/Penguin Kids

Written in the rhyme style of “brown bear, brown bear-what do you see”, this book is a humorous joyous story of a granddaughter walking through the marketplace with her grandmother.

Samira is worried and anxious about all the noises at the bazaar. So she uses her grandmother’s chador to hide- but each time, Mama Shamsi, lovingly pretends they are an animal- and redirects her granddaughter to stand by her side. And by the time they reach the market, Samira has confidence enough to use her senses (and hold her Mama Shamsi’s hand) to navigate it together.

I just loved how the chador was used (according to the author’s note) as a comfort for the granddaughter- and it really challenges stereotypes about hijab and headcovers commonly presented in media.

I considered current events in Iran before posting this review- but as an own voices book, I respect the creators visions for their story- and furthermore, as a woman who wears hijab myself, I firmly believe in the right to choose- women in Iran or anywhere else (such as areas like France where hijab is banned in schools) should have the choice of what to wear freely.

The illustrations were truly gorgeous and downright breathtaking and my kids enjoyed looking at them (so did I)! The style reflected the setting beautifully and the marketplace was my favorite image.

Def recommend this book❤️


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