A new 32 page hard back Ramadan book that shows a little girls excitement isn’t enough to get her to abstain from food and drink for the whole long day of fasting, but that there are other ways to enjoy the gift of the blessed month. A great book that shows how Ramadan is a month of growing and learning and sacrificing and coming together too. Perfect for ages 4 and up to be read in small groups or at bedtime. The pictures are delightful and show diversity, and while the little girls love of sparkles might appeal more to little girls, I think the message will allow boys to enjoy and benefit from the book as well.
Sophia is helping her family decorate for Ramadan and when they see the crescent moon, they know that fasting will start tomorrow. Excited to be included Sophia can’t wait. Sahoor, however, is really early and she is really tired. She eats a little, but by fajr time she can’t even keep her eyes open and falls asleep in sajood.
When she wakes up it is almost noon, and even though she is hungry she decides keeping busy will help the time pass. Reading, cleaning, drawing, nothing is working. Her little brother runs around waving a cookie, and Sophia can’t get away fast enough.
She caves and starts eating cookies, her grandma finds her and consoles her. “There’s always tomorrow and the day after and the next. You have a full month to keep trying.” The two then discuss other ways to enjoy the month. Sophia knows her mom reads Quran, but Sophia can’t on her own. Her father helps others and gives charity, but Sophia doesn’t have any money. She is about to give up, but then sees her grandma’s hands covered in flour and realizes she can help her make iftar for those that are fasting.
She helps with the salad and the pizzas for iftar, but when some of the pizzas burn, Sophia will have to show what she has learned and understood to make iftar a success and make everything sparkle.
There are a lot of Ramadan books out there, but I like that this one doesn’t have the adults saying she can’t fast, but just the same grandma is there to encourage her to do what she can and take advantage of other parts of the month. I also like that she doesn’t succeed. Fasting especially on these long summer days can be hard and acknowledging that, and encouraging kids to persevere I think is a very valuable lesson. Sophia also comes up with a way to help on her own. Parents are tired and entertaining ways for the kids to be engaged in Ramadan is great, but can be exhausting. This shows that kids with the right understanding of the month, inshaAllah can find ways on their own too.
There is an Author’s Note at the end explaining Ramadan, and the book would work and appeal to Muslim and non Muslim kids alike. Sophia reminds me a bit of Pinkalicious and Fancy Nancy and will probably appeal most to kids that also like those characters. The grandma covers her head, the mom does not, but does when praying and reading Quran. It mentions and shows praying and breaking one’s fast with water and dates, yet stays focused on the story and does not get preachy or dry.