This non fiction, 32 page book is important in introducing 3rd graders and up to a very influential Muslim that shaped the world. I try to keep to fiction reviews, but as someone who didn’t learn about Avicenna/Ibn Sina until college, I feel like the sooner we can inspire our Muslim children to know some of these remarkable historical figures and get their stories into western curriculums the better for us all.
The book is told in first person and is translated from Arabic so parts are a bit awkward, such as when he is telling when he died, and parts do sound a little arrogant, but all that aside the book stays on task in describing Ibn Sina’s accomplishments and not getting distracted by historical, political, or cultural influences. Some could argue that some context would be nice, but for 8 and 9 year olds, the facts are impressive enough and the streamline approach I think makes it something they can grasp.
The book is beautifully done with a 9×12 hard cover and glossy pages. The colored pencil pictures are beautiful and rich on most pages, with the neck and eyes a bit distracting on others.
The book of course mentions his contributions to medicine but also includes his Islamic knowledge of memorizing the Quran and studying Islamic Law, cultural knowledge of knowing volumes of Persian poetry, architecture, literature, music as well as his extensive studying of philosophy, logic, linguistics, and more.
It also mentions some of his findings, which do a great job of showing readers how relevant and important his work was then and now. Understanding how children should be educated, how infections passed, that light travels faster than sound, anesthesia for surgical patients, to name a very, very few.
I checked out the book from the public library and made my kids all read it, well not the 3 year old, and I think Islamic school teachers and Muslim parents really need to try and expose their kids to his accomplishments, get them excited about how their faith promotes questioning and education and then work on getting historical figures such as Abou Ali al-Hussein ibn Abdullah ibn al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn Sina more widely known in the greater society.