This beautiful lyrical book has a simple premise of the moon looking down on people celebrating Ramadan as it circles the Earth, but stands out as being unique thanks to the poetic language and engaging illustrations. Each spread shows moon in a different phase over a different country, and the joy, activities and worship that Muslims are partaking in during the blessed month. I’m embarrassed to say, I didn’t realize that the author is also the illustrator until I sat down to write this review, and honestly it makes sense, as the story text and illustrations work seamlessly together. The tone of the book, the details in the pictures, and the rich language make this a good read for a large audience. Little ones probably won’t fully understand the poetry, but they will be mesmerized none-the-less and feel the excitement. My three year old calls the moon all year round, the “Ramadan Moon” and he understood that the Moon in the story is excited seeing us celebrate and worship. He consistently would still be peeking in windows or searching the scenes, not quite ready for me to turn the page long after the text was done being read. Older kids will appreciate the shared global bonds of Muslims and the cultural specifics too. They will grasp the information shared and beliefs touched upon in the flowing words that do not preach. My only criticism is that the book starts with Moon saying, “Hello.” In an Islamic centered book I would have expected to see Assalamualaikum, especially since it appears on the page where moon is above Egypt, so I’m not sure why the English greetings is used. The book has a glossary and notes at the end making it a great addition to Muslim and non Muslim spaces alike. I plan to read the book for a Masjid story time as the large hardback book will work just as well for a group of kids as it does at bed time.
Told from a personified Moon’s perspective, the book begins with Moon smiling at Earth as people all over the world excitedly point and look up at her, but once they see her, they rush off to prepare for the month. Over Turkey, the Ramadan Drummer awakens sleepy people for suhoor and over Indonesia he sees families gathering for iftar. As each day passes Moon grows fuller watching the children do good deeds and people sharing their wealth.
Nights of Taraweeh and listening to the Quran over Somalia, sharing treats in the United Kingdom, and interfaith among neighbors in the United States bring joy to Moon. And as the waning crescent sees henna being put on hands in Dubai the month is coming to an end. People once again look to the sky, but they cannot see Moon in Argentina, Moon is new. It is Chaand Raat and then it is Eid. Moon is back in Egypt watching people celebrate and then the world returns to looking up at Moon and she beams with love and gratitude.
There are diverse characters of a variety of skin tones, mobilities, ages, body size and abilities featured all throughout the book in a positive and inclusive normalizing manner. The backmatter makes the concepts more accessible and the book work on different layers. I really enjoyed the book and am excited to share it. I purchased mine at Crescent Moon Store where using my initials ISL (Islamic School Librarian) will save you 10% it is also available here at Amazon Even my local public library has it on the shelves already! Happy Ramadan!