Persian Paisley Painting {Tutorial} plus Naji and the Mystery of the Dig {Book Review}

Tomorrow is Multicultural Children’s Book Day, celebrated by book reviewers, teachers, authors, librarians and anyone how cares about seeing more diversity on book shelves.


I heard about the initiative last year, but it was too late to join. I was thrilled to be asked to be a co-Host this year and was sent Naji and the Mystery of the Dig by Vahid Imani to review.


This book tells the story of 8 year old Naji walking up one summer morning to the sounds outside her window. Upon investigation, she discovers that workers have arrived to dig a hole for a new restroom for the family.  Naji’s imagination gets the best of her and she starts to imagine all kinds of things coming out of the hole.  Later we find out that her suspicions are not based on facts, yet another lovely surprise is discovered in the hole.  I’m not going to reveal the ending, but it was not one that either I or my daughter saw coming and we were left with more questions then answers.


Luckily, the author has put together a fantastic website that explains more about the Persian culture and what was under the dig.  The book itself comes with a glossary, study projects, a map and discussion questions.  While learning more about the Persian culture, we discovered that the paisley design originated in Iran.


In honor of Naji’s imagination, we tried to imagine what her sister’s chador would look like with paisleys on it.  I had picked up a frame a few days ago and we converted it to a paisley print for our hall way.   This is what the frame looked like before.

You’ll need these supplies to turn it into a personal work of art.


Sharpie markers
Paisley stencil found online
Floral stencil
Blue tape
Sponge paint brush
Acrylic paint


My daughter started by cutting out the paisley print out and laying it on the canvas. She used blue tape to hold it in place and outlined the shape with a Sharpie.

She then painted the inside with gold and the outside with yellow acrylic paint.

After the paint had dried, she added the floral stencil in the middle and held it in place with the blue tape.

Using the sponge brush, she used an up and down motion to make sure the paint saturated the stencil holes.

She waited for the yellow paint to dry, then went over the stenciled flower with a Sharpie. She then added a few more colors to the overall design.

Once the central flower was done, she decided to add two more flowers using the stencil again.

Here is her completed paisley painting.

And here is a detail of the painted and marked designs inside.


To see more Persian crafts, visit Nowruz Sib Tutorial or other tutorials on A Crafty Arab Pinterst. And feel free to check out Naji and the Mystery of the Dig here.


MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books.

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Delores Connors, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O’Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscare�o-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang.

We�d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD�s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.