Cover image for Nadia's hands
Nadia's hands
English, Karen.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Honesdale, PA : Boyds Mills Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A Pakistani-American girl takes part in her aunt's traditional Pakistani wedding.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 29293.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Oversize

On Order



Saturday is Auntie Laila's wedding day and Nadia has been chosen as flower girl. The morning of the ceremony, Auntie Amina prepares Nadia's hands in the traditional way. Using henna, a natural dye, she creates intricate designs, called mehndi, on Nadia's hands. But Nadia is worried. Mehndi lasts a long time and doesn't wash off right away. When she goes to school on Monday, what will her classmates think of her hands? Will they understand that mehndi is part of her Pakistani heritage? By the afternoon, Nadia is swept up in the excitement of the wedding. Now she can't wait till Monday, when she can "share her hands from Pakistan: with the kids at school. Karen English's loving story of a Pakistani-American girl, who comes to an understanding of the rich culture she has inherited, is vividly illustrated by Jonathan Weiner.

Author Notes

Karen English, author of Just Right Stew, illustrated by Anna Rich, lives in Los Angeles, California.

Jonathan Weiner, a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, lives in Washington, D.C.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-9. A Pakistani American child is pleased to be flower girl at her aunt's traditional wedding, but she worries about it, not only about messing up her role of sprinkling rose petals down the aisle but also about having her hands painted with mehndi (henna paste). What will the kids at school think of her orange hands with their intricate designs? Weiner's full-page oil pastel illustrations show the wedding preparations and the ceremony. The best pictures focus closely on the details of Nadia's amber hands, decorated with deep orange flowers and swirls of stars, as she comes to see the richness of her tradition and what it means to her loving extended family. Children will enjoy the wedding story, and many will recognize how a family custom can be a source of both embarrassment and pride. --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Nadia, a Pakistani-American girl, is chosen to be the flower girl at her aunt's wedding. On the day of the ceremony, Auntie Amina applies a henna paste (mehndi) to the girl's hands and then draws intricate patterns on them. Nadia knows that the designs will not wash off by the time she goes back to school on Monday, and she is very concerned about what her classmates will think. This story of one girl's coming to terms with her heritage is illustrated in oil pastels. Textured, impressionistic, full-page paintings in neon shades of green, red, fuchsia, and blue are set on ample white space sparely decorated with patterns taken from Nadia's hands. While the story is slight and the illustrations are undistinguished, the effort gives a glimpse into another culture.-Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.