Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow


JAMILAH THOMPKINS-BIGELOW is a Philadelphia-based children’s book author. A former English teacher and educational leader, she educated children and teens in traditional and alternative settings for more than 15 years. She also developed anti-racist curriculum for youth and adult programming and this work continues to shape her writing. Her picture books and middle grade fiction, which feature young Black and Muslim protagonists, have been recognized as the best in children’s literature by many, including TIMEEbony, and NPR, and she is a 2021 Irma Black Award silver medalist. Forever an educator at heart, she is probably most proud that her books are NEA Read Across America books and included in the standardized curriculums of school districts throughout North America. In addition to producing children’s literature, she invests her time in the mentorship of aspiring children’s book authors through multiple programs including We Need Diverse Books and the Highlights Foundation.


From the critically acclaimed author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow of Your Name Is a Song and illustrator Hatem Aly comes a story about a Muslim boy who receives a salat (prayer) rug on his seventh birthday and becomes empowered about his faith.

In this beautiful story of community, family, and acceptance, a boy named Muhammad receives a special salat rug on his seventh birthday. Seven is the age when Muslim children are encouraged to pray, and Muhammad is determined to do all five daily prayers on time. But one salat occurs during the school day – and he’s worried about being seen praying at school. His father parks his truck to worship in public places, and people stare at and mock him. Will the same thing happen to Muhammad?