I found this book at the library and immediately loved that it talked about who we are as Muslims on a preschool level. It is one of the few books that I have found on this age level or any age level that discusses Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and it seems like there should be more, a lot more,books that do. That being said, while the content is valuable, the story and presentation is a little jumbled to me.
The book starts out with Faatimah introducing herself and her brother Ahmed as little Muslims, which is adorable.
The bright playful pictures, the font, the number of words on the page all seem perfect for a four year old like Faatimah, but then you turn the page.
Woah! That’s a lot of text, and its all very stream of thought for a 4 year old. Which after multiple reading I still can’t decide if I like or find annoying. This story style returns later as she goes off for four pages about camels. Here though it details what she likes, what she loves, that her brother is six, that he likes spaghetti, that spaghetti is messy. You get the point it is a lot of information for no real reason. I see that the book is one of a series, so I’m hoping maybe if you read them all, these numerous little facts might connect you to Faatimah, but in a stand alone book it comes across as filler and an over bearing attempt to add character to a factual based story.
Flip the page again and the text slightly reduces as the stage is set to actually start the purpose of the book. Ahmed comes home and is about to tell her about what he learned at school, mainly the story of Rasulullah.
Sitting on the rug, Ahmed tells Faatimah who Aaminah and Abdullah and Abdul Muttalib are. Faatimah can’t say Abdul Muttalib, which is cute and believable, but then she turns from being the day dreamy child, back to being the narrator and asks the reader, “can you say it?”
Ahmed tells where Arabia is and that he was born on a Monday in Rabiul-Awwal in the year 570. The kids simultaneously review Islamic months and days of the week in the illustrations. They then finish with talking about the specialness of the name Muhammad itself, and how kind, truthful, and helpful he was. Both kids decide they want to be like Muhammad (peace be upon him), alhumdulillah.
Once the actual “story” starts, the amount of text on the page evens out and is appropriate. I think the awkwardness of Faatimah rambling is a bit excessive, but the concept would work in moderation. I want to read the other books in the series, and I want to test the book out to some three and four-year olds and come back and update this post, inshaAllah.
The book is 34 pages, hardbound 8.5 by 8.5. There is a glossary in the back and works well for teaching Muslim and non-Muslim kids about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and getting a glimpse of what Islam is, in a non preachy positive way.