This is the perfect book for back to school. It can set a beautiful tone of letting all children know that they are welcome, that they are accepted, that they are safe, that they are wanted and that they have value in your classroom. It could also work to allay children’s fears heading in to a new environment, assuming of course that the environment is as fabulous as the one presented in the book.
The large, hardback 44 page book with a poster and large pullout concluding page, is fantastic for ages preschool and up, but would have value as part of any grades back to school message.
While the rhyming couplets are sweet and sincere, the real beauty of the book are the illustrations. Bringing all that diversity to life in smiling kids faces, children with hijabs, and yarmulkes, patkas, baseball caps, glasses, curly hair, straight hair, every color of the rainbow, various physical abilities, all show what a day of inclusion can look like. No one culture or background is articulated or placed higher than another and the coming together of the kids and then their parents and community is inspiring.
I love that their is a little muhajaba on the the cover and included in the cultural acceptance of the book. It shows her praying in one picture and then joining in and smiling with the rest of the diverse group of characters in the other pictures. Feeling included and accepted whether in a classroom, or in a children’s book, feels good, at any age, alhumdulillah.
A special shout-out to all the educators and people in positions of power who go the extra mile to create a safe and accepting space, thank you.
This little 26 page paperback book is not a lot to look at, and it really isn’t substantial in your hands either….but it comes with this little guy, who is Awesome!
And once Mr. Ramadhan Moon smiling at you, and you open the book, the only real complaint you’ll have is how can we support this book so that the book can become hardback, the pages bigger, and the font spaced out more. Yeah, it is fun, really fun.
Told from Mr. Moon’s perspective the story covers the basics about Ramadan, fasting, charity, praying, and Eid, but also incorporates the searching of the moon in both the Ramadan month sense, and in the hiding of the toy and finding it around your house activity gimmick. Much like the Christmas game of “Elf on the Shelf,” Mr. Ramadhan Moon wants to be found each day of Ramadan, and can also be found on each page of the book.
The book is written in rhyme, which often is forced, but its ambition is appreciated as a lot of information is conveyed. There is even a glossary of terms in the back.
The book is ordered through Etsy and I think will be a blast for kids toddler to 3rd grade. I’m planning to hide him daily this Ramadan and I’ve already read the book to my children who can’t wait to start a new Ramadan tradition.
I feel like I preordered this book years ago, I have been so anxious to see what all the hype was about. When it arrived I tore open the box and read it on the short walk from the mailbox to the house, read it again standing in the kitchen, left it for a few days, and reread it now to write the review. SubhanAllah, it didn’t disappoint.
It reads, as intended, as a powerful letter to a child. There aren’t long winded morals or overly fancy words. It is direct in its many ways of telling you, that you matter, where you come from matters, that your foundation matters. That you are strong, and beautiful, always, even when the world may not think so. That you are Muslim, that you are from Allah, that you speak in Arabic and Spanish and dreams. The verses become poetry that dance on the page with the illustrations telling the story as powerfully as the words. The words in turn float and lilt around images as old as time and as innocent as dancing in the wind.
The 32 pages fly by that you can’t help but read it again, slowly, savoring all the harnessed power and hope of a multi culture world, a multi cultural faith, that is truly beautiful. Recognizing the humanity that we all share, yet feeling pride in your own unique skin is a balancing act that doesn’t need to be apologized for, and should be celebrated.
I love that this book exists. That it is available on Amazon. That it is bold and colorful and hardbound, and so well done. There is diversity in Islam. There is diversity of belief in Indigenous populations, that there is so much inspiration in the world around us and in our past. Are all messages that come through even for the youngest readers.
As many of us are setting out our Ramadan decorations and pulling our Ramadan books from the shelves, or realistically browsing Amazon, the quality and presentation of Islamic picture books is impressive. And with this new expectation, there is also an increase in price, this book however, is the opposite. Ranging from .97 cents to $3 online this little 6.5 inch by 9.5 inch 24 page book is a lot of bang for your buck.
Starting with finding the moon, big sister Maysa tells her younger brother Bilal all about Ramadan, in (mostly) rhyming couplets none the less. She tells him about walking up before dawn and explains that yes that means no lunch. She also explains that because they are little they aren’t required to fast. They then explore breaking the fast, going to the mosque to pray, having good manners, and learning that a full moon means that Ramadan is half way over. Reading the Quran is discussed as well as how we have to be generous with what Allah swt has given us. It concludes with Eid and a Parent/Teacher guide at the end to help Muslim and non Muslims alike learn about Ramadan.
The pictures are cute and comical, albeit small given the overall size of the book. It covers Ramadan on a level kids of all ages can understand, and because of its easy reading style even older kids can skim through it and find it enjoyable. There isn’t really a story, it is just a fun way to share the “facts” but a welcome addition to any book shelf both at home and in a classroom setting.
A new Eid book that talks about the religious aspects of Eid, such as praying and going to the mosque, as well as the cultural fun of getting henna done and eating samosas, presented through the shapes a little girl finds all around her. I liked the idea of presenting Eid through a different lens so to speak, and finally gave in and ordered the $17 hardback 28 page book. I had touched base with the author before I ordered it to see if it would work for little kids at a masjid story time and she thought it would. The text is one to four lines per page and rhymes, which allows the little ones to stay engaged. Some of the lines are forced or seem to break the rhyme scheme, but overall a book about shapes with rhyming lines makes sense.
The part that I was underwhelmed with was the illustrations. A book with such a visual concept at its core, to me would require breath taking pictures. But alas, the pictures seem done with crayon and colored pencils, and on many pages finding the shape is almost difficult for little ones. The detail is lovely, but the presentation seems lacking. They aren’t bright and shiny, they are muted and flat. The disconnect of the text and binding with the pictures seemed jarring to me. Perhaps it was just the price point made me expect more, I don’t know. I like the book, but I don’t love it. I will be reading it to a group of kids and if they love it I will take back my criticism of the pictures, happily.
I think the book works up to about 2nd grade, as the geometric shapes are both flat and 3-D, plus getting excited for Eid is something everyone enjoys. There is no reason this book is limited to Muslim children, but non muslims might be left with more questions after reading it about how Eid is celebrated and what aspects are religiously required and which are just fun customs. There is a small intro at the beginning to what Eid is, but no glossary or further info is included.
An Afghani girl dreams of peace in this illustrated 24 page poem. She soars and flies like the kites against the wind and giggles and learns and hopes with her feet on the ground. The book is written on a third grade sixth month AR level, but even at that the poem is hard to follow for elementary age children. The voice doesn’t sound like a child’s, it is far more reflective and mature for how she is presented. The text, not really a story, wanders and alludes to what obstacles face Afghani’s but doesn’t detail them. The author assumes the reader knows that Afghanistan has been under war for decades, that war is painful and gloomy and gruesome. Adults maybe can find the hope for peace and the struggles inspiring, but I don’t think children will really have a clue as to what the text is about. Luckily the pictures are AMAZING.
The illustrator does an amazing job in keeping the story light and hopeful and showing the culture without judgement or despair. The domes of the masjids, the hijabs, the mendhi on the hands and even the smiling faces beneath the niqabs are done with lightness, kindness and beauty. There is even a touch of whimsy that reminds the reader that this is supposed to be from a child’s perspective.
The sky can be full of kites, I think to myself,
but it can also be full of dreams…
And mine flies up high, high into the sky,
towards the stars…
The book overall is poetic and artistic. I can see children enjoying the illustrations and maybe falling asleep to the melodious words, even if they can’t really make sense of them. The book says that profits go to charity, and that the book was translated from Spanish. For the illustrations alone, the book has merit and older children may be inspired to take something difficult and turn it into something beautiful with their words.
This beautiful book is a compilation of the lyrics from Dawud Wharnsby’s well known collection of songs found on the Colours of Islam CD released nearly 20 years ago. The book states for ages 5+ and is a large and very colorful 35 pages. The hardback binding, the inclusion of the CD, and the knowledge that royalties go to a trust fund supporting educational initiatives for children, make it a great gift item. It looks lovely on the shelf and the children will eagerly thumb through it, once. After that, I’m not entirely sure what to do with the book.
The pictures are very busy for the most part, and very detailed. The text on the page is pretty intimidating in its line length and volume. The songs are lovely, I’ve knows them by heart since I was a child, but I don’t know that they lend themselves directly to poetry for children. If a child knows the songs, or is following along with the CD then yes, older children will benefit from the book. A five-year-old or possibly a 7-year-old will not. I can see the poems/songs supplementing a language arts lesson in a classroom, and in a library the book looks wonderful displayed. But, as hard as it is for me to not gushingly praise a Dawud Wharnsby product, I don’t know that the book would really ever be read cover to cover and/or more than once.