You really wouldn’t think there is much to review in an alphabet board book, but this particular one tries to do more than just pluck a random Islamic word or concept for each of the 26 English letters. It attempts to give each of the letters one of Allah (swt)’s beautiful names explained in English, but written in Arabic too.
Each 5 x 10 page features a four line description in a rhyming format to flesh out the highlighted word or phrase.
Some letter to corresponding Asma al Husna are spot on, but some are a little more of a stretch and some don’t even seem to try. Overall though it is well-done and delightful.
The people illustrated don’t have visible eyes, but many have smiles, noses, or closed eyes. They are bright and warm and engaging. The binding and thickness of the pages is sturdy.
Perhaps my favorite part of the book is that the while the rhyming is forced, as is nearly always the case in these type of books, the diction stays on level. Little kids will understand the words used and emerging readers will be able to sound out and read many on their own as well.
A great book for your toddler to preschool collection and a reasonably priced book from Crescent Moon Store http://www.crescentmoonstore.com.
This book is fabulously fun, but incredibly puzzling. The book without a glossary is presumably meant for Muslim children, with words like U is for Umrah and T is for Tasbeeh, and N is for Night of Power. Which is interesting, because it seems to be written by a non Muslim, who writes and illustrates a lot of various alphabet books, and published by a mainstream company. I’m sure this adorable book will appeal to many non Muslims but after reading it, I’m fairly certain they will be 80% clueless as to what most of the letters are about. Maybe they would be able to make a guess based on the pictures, but with the pronunciation for Arabic words being given underneath, it sure makes for an odd juxtaposition in a toddler board book.
Additionally, if you are Muslim reading the book and can describe the Arabic to your 3-5 year old, you will possibly have to explain some of the “big” English words too. H is for Hospitality, G is for Generous, O is for Obligation.
Thrown in are also some completely silly, random letter prompts. W is for Watermelon and Y is for Yay. So, I probably shouldn’t like this book, but it is an absolute delight to look at and read through if you can account for all the aforementioned things.
The illustrations are engaging and detailed and oh so happy and fun. The book feels good in your hands reading it with a little one snuggled up beside you at 8.5 x 6.5 and 32 thick pages long.
I guess I can’t offer a finalized opinion on the book, just know what it includes (or doesn’t include) before you buy. I was able to check it out at my public library, and online it is just under $10, so hopefully people won’t be disappointed with the purchase, if nothing else for the pictures alone. But maybe don’t get excited to send it off to non Muslim friends and family this Ramadan, as it might not offer much in terms of understanding what the blessed month is all about.