A beautifully illustrated board book about Ramadan came out in April just in time for Ramadan. The 24 pages tell basic facts about Ramadan, introduce readers to Arabic vocabulary of suhoor, iftar and Eid al Fitr, and conveys concepts about fasting. It explains that Ramadan is praying, and family, and helping others. It never strays from appealing to toddlers and preschoolers, which makes the book a great choice for little ones.
I wish that it included something about Allah, or the Quran, but it doesn’t and as its a Simon and Schuster published book it is probably intentional as to keep it open to both Muslim and non Muslim children. The month is referred to as a special month, but doesn’t tell why it is special other than it being a time to fast. It says we fast to know how the poor feel and to appreciate what we have. There is nothing about religion mentioned out right, the words Islam and M cccuslims don’t even appear in the book.
I love that it mentions that while we are fasting we still go to work and school. And I love that it mentions Eid as a time of gifts and sweets and praying. The main take-a-ways of the book are that Ramadan is a special time of year of praying, loving our family, and giving back to others, while it explains going without food and drink, it doesn’t overly dwell on it.
The pictures are busy and colorful and detailed and wonderful. They show diversity of color, age, ethnicity, body shape and are full of smiling warm faces. There are animals in nearly every picture and they really are whimsical yet bold enough, to hold readers’ attention over and over and over again.
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