This 22 page beautifully illustrated picture book clarifies that it is not a science book, but rather an invitation to think deeply. For ages 4 and up the rhyming pages will appeal to children’s sense of wonder and Allah’s perfection and precision. Older kids will appreciate the journey through the cosmos and how limitless Allah swt is in all things.
The book starts with Earth and how the spinning of our planet on its axis allows for the alternation of night and day, it then moves to how going around the sun at Allah’s command gives us our seasons. But because it rhymes and is not a science book, the text is more imagery and tangible in nature, rather than a list of facts.
It touches on the moon reflecting borrowed light and the power and strength of the sun before moving on to the planets and gravity.
It then extends out to the Milky Way and has a page on black holes before coming back to Earth for us to recognize how we only are a small part of something so much bigger.
There are two pages at the end with talking points, an ayat from the Quran, and emphasis that science and Islam are not at odds as Allah is the creator and governor of all things.
The book is 6×9 and with the beautiful illustrations I truly wish the book was larger. Not only to dive in to the glossy pages easier, but also so that the book could be used at story time to small groups. The tone is contemplative and marveling as it challenges the readers to find mistakes or flaws in the perfection of outer space. I love that science-y Islamic kid books are now available that appeal to children’s sense of wonder and understanding. Really the only other suggestion I would have liked to see, would have been a page defining the word “cosmos” as it is used on every page, and while I think kids will figure it out as the continue through the book, I think it is a bit of a block for the younger readers.
This is an important book to show representation of an underrepresented group, not just those with autism, but also those that love them and live with them. It is also important to spread awareness so that those that do not have first hand experience can show compassion and patience for the individual and those around them as well.
This 16 page book, only 9 pages of text, is written by a mother and daughter about another daughter. It is told from the perspective of 9 year old Juwayriyah and how she sees and helps her younger sister Hind.
I love that it makes it super clear that children with autism are created this way by Allah swt and made special just as all of us are unique and special. I also like that Juwayriyah has had to learn to slow down and say bismillah before often dealing with Hind. It also shows that it is a work in progress and there are good days and bad days. It isn’t smooth sailing, and it isn’t something that needs to be fixed, it is what it is and we must adapt.
The book is wonderful, for what it does and what it represents, however, in terms of story, it is kind of dry. It very much is a nine year old, optimistically talking about her sister and how rubbing her hands has proved a coping skills when she is overwhelmed, but you don’t get to know any of the characters. You don’t feel a bond, or understand what life is like for Hind, or why sometimes she has outbursts or what her triggers are. I don’t know that kids will even understand concretely what autims is other than that it means people with it learn and act and think differently, as no real examples are given.
There is a lot of text on the pages. I think if you know someone with autism or have maybe seen a child having a melt down, children younger kids will enjoy the explanation and fact giving the book provides. Otherwise I think 2nd to 4th graders will get the most out of this book as they start to notice different behaviors and other’s reactions to them.