Its probably a good thing I didn’t know that this book was coming out or I would have been waiting very restlessly for its release date. I love Hena Khan’s Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns and buy it frequently through Scholastic to give as gifts, and this book will definitely follow in its footsteps.
The pictures are beautiful and vibrant and full of diversity as familiar shapes introduce possibly unfamiliar things. Aimed at both muslim and non muslim preschoolers, this book does a great job of telling and showing what a mihrab, a mimbar, and a mosque are, and introducing concepts of wudu and imam and jannah, that can be understood with the help of the glossary at the end.
The book flows and really transports the reader to a peaceful and enchanting place where these shapes and concepts are powerful and wonderful. A great message for everyone of every age.
The book is 32 pages and really is worth every penny. I would imagine that it will eventually make it to paperback, so if you need to wait, check your library and then stock up when you can.
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.