I’ve seen this book on Amazon countless times, and not really been interested in a Prophet story written in rhyme. It seemed like it would be overly forced and there’s enough slightly creepy songs out there trying to be clever in their retellings, that I never added it to my cart. But, when Noura over at Crescent Moon Store convinced me to take a look and hooked me up, I trusted her, and am glad I was so terribly wrong.
The story of Yunus (AS) is told from the whale’s perspective. And shows how he always wanted to do something unique and swims around helping those in need. He even befriends his foe, a giant squid.
When he feels compelled to swim to the surface in the middle of the storm, Allah commands him to swallow Prophet Yunus and later commands him to return him to land.
The whale listens to Prophet Yunus praying all day and night and feels blessed to be part of Allah’s big plan. His dua is also included at the end in english and arabic and arabic transliteration.
The 18 page book is 8×10 inches in size and the illustrations are sweet, soft, happy and well done. Children two and up will enjoy the story, and while it is meant for Muslim children, I believe Christian and Jewish children will recognize the story and with some oversight would enjoy it too.
The rhyme is surprisingly not as forced as I feared. On only one occasion the rhyme is a stretch: squid, bit, but the meter is regular and flows easily making the story great for story time and bedtime alike.
The book starts with a brief introduction to Kiraman Katibin, the two recording angels, and reminds parents that before the age of maturity only the good deeds are recorded. That being established the book then works to develop the conscientiousness of having all of our actions recorded, so that we train ourselves from a young age to be mindful of what we do and say.
Following a precious little boy with fantastic hair, and a bit of a mischievous smile, the reader learns how we each have an angel on our right and left side. We learn how sharing makes the angel on the right happy, as does stopping ourselves from getting mad. We learn that its the little things and the big things, the stuff we do in public and the stuff that we think no one sees that get written down. The angel on the left notes down all the mistakes too, and these make the angel sad. But alhumdulillah apologies and forgiveness can rub away good deeds, guiding us on the path to jannah, inshaAllah.
The beautiful full color pictures are beyond adorable, and the rhyming couplets work perfect for preschoolers. The font, the playfulness of the text on each of the 24 pages, the hardbound book and the 10 x 10 size make this book absolutely perfect for books shelves and for story time. There is a glossary at the back that defines not just the Arabic words, but also some of the english vocabulary words that might need some explaining: glee, deeds, angels. My only complaint is that there isn’t a whole series of books by this author and illustrator coaching and guiding our little muslims in manners and basic belief.