Craigieburn launch: book to inspire Hume’s children

Hijabi Girl  

A new children’s book about a girl in a hijab who wants to start an Aussie Rules football team will be launched at Craigieburn Library.

Hijabi Girl has been written by renowned Australian author Hazel Edwards OAM and children’s librarian Ozge Alkan, and is illustrated by Serena Geddes.

Everyone is invited to attend the book’s launch at 1pm on Wednesday 20 April 2016.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, said the illustrated chapter book demonstrated how children from different backgrounds could be terrific friends.

“Hijabi Girl centres around a feisty young girl who wears a hijab, and she displays a real love for Aussie Rules football,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“The story attempts to deal with the labels that are sometimes put on people, and teaches how important it is to respect everyone, regardless of the culture a person may cherish.

“It’s an exciting book that I think will inspire many children across Hume, which is one of Australia’s most diverse and harmonious communities.”

The idea for a book about a girl who wears a hijab came from Ozge Alkan, who used to organise book character parades for students at an Islamic college.

All older girls at the college wore a hijab as part of their uniform, and this meant that the characters chosen by the students for the parade often needed to be transformed into hijabi characters.

When Ozge met Hazel Edwards OAM, she asked the accomplished author to write a book about a girl who wears a hijab.

After some discussion, the two decided to compose Hijabi Girl together, and it’s been self-published by Hazel.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said young people were in for a fantastic read.

“Hazel Edwards OAM is one of Australia’s great authors, and generations of children have enjoyed her 1980 classic, There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake,” she said.

“Hijabi Girl is Hazel’s 201st book, and she’s known for writing in unusual locations, like Casey Station in Antarctica, Nepal in the Himalayas, and the former Fremantle Prison in Western Australia, which is now a literature centre.

“Hazel and Ozge’s story is beautifully presented through drawings by Serena Geddes, who will attend the launch to perform some live scribble.”

Serena has illustrated books since 2009, and has achieved a big following through the Lulu Bell series.

Cr Patsikatheodorou encouraged children and adults to attend the launch of Hijabi Girl.

“The book exhibits many strong messages, and shows how children can build their confidence and develop new skills through sport,” she said.

“Above all, it’s a really good story.”

The launch of Hijabi Girl is a free event, and attendees are asked to book in advance via:

For further information, visit or

Posted on 12:00 AM, 31 March 2016

Updated : 12:25 PM, 31 March 2016

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