Like the Moon Loves the Sky

h1 February 14th, 2020 by jules

“Inshallah you plant gardens filled with sweet fruits.”
(Click spread to enlarge)


Want to see some spreads today from Like the Moon Loves the Sky (Chronicle), written by Hena Khan and illustrated by Saffa Khan? Saffa — a printmaker, as well as an illustrator — was born in Pakistan and now lives in Scotland, and I’ve a few of her vividly colored spreads to show off here at 7-Imp today. The book will be on shelves in early March.

Like the Moon Loves the Sky features new parents, basking in their love for their newborn child. “Inshallah you are all that is gentle and good,” the book opens. In a note from Hena that is included on the copyright page, she explains for readers the meaning of the phrase “inshallah,” a repeated refrain in the story:

It means ‘if God wills it’ in Arabic and is something that Muslims around the globe hear from the moment they are born and are taught to express as they learn to speak. The phrase, however, goes beyond Muslims in popular culture, and today is used throughout the Arabic speaking world by people of many faiths to reflect the idea of a greater force or power beyond ourselves. It’s a common theme found in other languages and cultures as well, such as “ojalá” in Spanish or “God willing” in English ….

She goes on to write that it’s a phrase she uses often as a parent, one that offers her “comfort and strength.” The story here is one that celebrates this phrase and the unconditional love of parents, and (as also noted by the author) every lyrical line in the book is inspired by the Quran. These are parents who wish for safety, compassion, knowledge, strength, an unwavering faith, and much more for their child. Readers see her grow as pages are turned — till the end, when we see her tucked into bed as a young girl, her mother reading her a bedtime story: “Inshallah you are loved, like the moon loves the sky.”

Saffa’s bold palette features brilliant rust, blue, and green hues, as well as curving, comforting, peaceful lines (such as the ones you see on the book’s dustjacket), ones that are a fitting match for the rhythmic qualities of Hena’s text.

Here are a couple more spreads. …


“Inshallah you are kind for those most in need.”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“Inshallah you are loved, like the moon loves the sky.”
(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click cover to enlarge)


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LIKE THE MOON LOVES THE SKY. Text copyright © 2020 by Hena Khan. Illustrations copyright © 2020 by Saffa Khan and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco.

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