Most rhyming children’s books are absolutely terrible, but this one made me smile as the format compliments the tone of the book. Every child has done something they regret and every parent desperate to raise truthful children; what very easily could have been a heavy handed story, stays positive as little Yousuf breaks something and seeks advice from his siblings about what to do. The book provides a lot of teachable moments and allows discussion and reflective referencing. It also is a reminder to us parents to praise the honesty, and forgive the transgression. The book is 24 pages and while text heavy at times, the fairly smooth rhyme and relatable story will be great for mature toddlers to kindergarteners. Some of the vocabulary will possibly need some explanation, but the cute pictures provide clues and the messaging will come through.
The book starts with Mum heading out to run errands and the kids being reminded to be nice, not to fight, not to make a mess, and that dad is in the garden and call if they absolutely need her. Did I say it is relatable? Yeah, I say this at least once a week, but dad isn’t in the garden, and I don’t rhyme.
Yousuf amuses himself and one thing leads to another and a ceramic plate gets broken. Not just any ceramic plate, his Mum’s favorite. He heads to his brother playing playstation for advice, and then to his other brother, and then finally to his sister before his mom comes home.
I’m sure for adults the story is predictable, but the solutions the siblings provide are similarly relatable and mom being grateful that honesty won out are conveyed on a child’s level that makes the book enjoyable at bedtime or in small groups. It provides an entertaining and clear reminder of how important telling the truth is.
There is nothing clearly Islamic in the text except the children’s names and the mother wearing hijab. No hadith or ayats are mentioned in conveying the universal character trait of honesty. The author and illustrator are Muslim and I do wish that there was a tie back to Islam either before or after the story, but alas there is not.
I purchased my copy here at Crescent Moon where my initials ISL (Islamic School Librarian) will save you 10% and it is also available here at Amazon.