Sigh, another erroneous children’s nonfiction book from a holiday book series targeting classrooms. This 24 page book is meant for pre-school to first grade and in addition to being vague and repetitive, states that Muslims have a holy book that was written in Ramadan. It never states the Quran by name, and clearly it wasn’t written, it was revealed in Ramadan. It later also states that Eid al-Fitr is the last day of Ramadan, failing to acknowledge that it falls on the first of Shawwal, when Ramadan is over. The table of Ramadan dates at the end spanning from 2016-2022 is also problematic if you are trying to explain that we often don’t know until the night before when Ramadan and Eid will be because we need to sight the moon. These errors may appear minor, but when they seem to fill every recently published children’s nonfiction book, it really makes the correction of such assumed facts that much harder to overcome. If our non-fiction books are so consistently flawed, our sense of reality is being shaped erroneously, and imagine what else we have consumed as fact that isn’t accurate over the years. Please speak out when you come across these errors, in Islamic books and all non-fiction works.
The book is filled with simple short sentence and often repeats the same basic information on multiple pages. The two page spreads contain the text on one side and a realistic photograph on the other with critical thinking prompts to consider.
It starts off by establishing that Muslims have a calendar based on the moon, that Ramadan is the ninth month and it is a holy month. The next page again reasserts that Ramadan is not one day, but a whole month before introducing the idea that families get together to pray. The erroneous page about the Islamic holy book follows and then the concept of fasting: not eating or drinking during the day is presented. The critical thinking point asks readers to consider how fasting might change your day.
There is then a page about prayer which includes that we kneel on rugs, pray everyday, but pray more in Ramadan. I’m not sure why this page didn’t follow the page that first mentioned prayer, especially since the next page goes back to talking about food which probably should have followed the page on fasting.
The page about Eid being on the last day of Ramadan is then followed by more sentences over a few pages about Eid being a festival, there being food, and gifts. There is a table of Ramadan dates at the end, as well as an index and books to further read. There isn’t a proper glossary because there really isn’t any vocabulary presented in the vague descriptions, but there is a picture glossary with words such as celebrate, dates, gifts, and prayers.