How Big is Allah? Written and illustrated by Emma Apple

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I chose this book thinking it would be a good reference style book to have in the house for the kids to ponder over.  Being it is non fiction, the fact that the pictures are black and white didn’t immediately put me off.  Reading it however, did.  The book is technically 28 pages, but it feels and resembles a pamphlet more than a book.  The pages are thin, the illustrations mere doodles with the majority, outer space being black, and the “story” is really only about 19 pages.  At a cost of over $10 I felt a little shortchanged and really disappointed.

The concept is fabulous.  Using space to stretch the readers mind to understand how big Allah swt is, I get it, I appreciate it. But the book even in its sparsity seems disjointed to me.  It starts with asking what the smallest thing you can think of is:  an ant, a snow flake, a piece of sand? It then asks the reader to compare that to the biggest thing you can think of as a comparison.  From there it is pretty much a book about space, complete with an appendix in the back comparing various planets and the sun. Again all interesting facts, but not cohesive and not packaged well.

I tried reading it to a small group of 4 year old students, and it was a bit over their heads as written.  I was able to use it as a guideline to facilitate a discussion which went well, but as is, in all honesty will probably just be lost on the book shelf and forgotten.  It seems to be self published, and I can’t help but think that the book could be great.  Big glossy pictures, a few more pages, or even a more accurate price would help the book in my humble opinion.

 

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