I waited to review this book to see if my initial response would change, and before I got around to writing up the review, the second book in the Maymunah’s Musings has come out. So I am admittedly a bit late and quite a bit behind, and based on other people’s review I’m in the minority on my opinions. This 40 page book is wonderfully presented with a multicultural girl asking her mother about Allah’s love for her. I wanted to absolutely love the text as much as the playful illustrations, but I felt like it was a bit wordy in places, a bit out of order in the mom’s explanation to the little girl making it somewhat repetitive, and ultimately I wanted a bit more. More ayats or references or even specific examples. There is truly nothing wrong with the book, but at its price point I was a bit disappointed.
Maymunah is looking out the window and thinking about Allah swt: what she has learned in Sunday school and about His remarkable creations. She recalls the amazing animals, the vast number of stars in the sky, the different type of trees, and her family.
She loves Allah, and wants to know how much He loves her. So she rushes to find her mother, the only person that can answer that question (I’m not sure why no one else can). Her mother lovingly and patiently situates herself with Maymunah in her lap to answer the important question.
Maymunah’s mom explains that Allah loves her more than the billions of stars in the sky, more than all the fish in the ocean, more than all the raindrops that fall, more than the billions of people in the entire world, more than all grains of sand on the beach, and blades of grass in the meadow.
Then Maymunah’s mom asks her if she knows how much Mama loves her. Maymunah repeats back all the examples her mother has just given for how much Allah loves Maymunah. The mom then says and Allah loves you more than that.
Maymunah is satisfied and reflects on how much Allah loves her and then remarks that her love for her mother and her mother’s love for her is bigger than the whole wide world. The last page of the book mentions that her love for Allah is more than that and that Allah’s love for her was even bigger, but it seemed muddled to me as it started stressing how big a mother and child’s love is.
I felt like the natural order would be to explain to a child how much a mother loves them, then say Allah loves you even more. Not tell all the ways Allah loves you, then talk about how much Mama loves you with the exact same examples and then say Allah loves you more. It doesn’t even say Allah loves you ‘the most.’
If you don’t read it over and over and take it on the surface it is probably fine, and I realize I might be overly harsh, but with only a single ayat at the end, I really wanted to feel that a child’s curiosity would be satisfied with this book, and I think it ultimately fell short for me and my children.
Ultimately, despite all this, I don’t regret buying the book from the wonderful Crescent Moon Book Store, and I will be buying the new one too inshaAllah. I hope this review helps you to determine if this book is right for your toddlers and preschoolers.