Like many of Emma Apple’s books that she writes and illustrates, the concept is simple, the illustrations minimal, the message clear, and the price a tad bit high.
At 50 pages this $17 soft bound Ramadan counting book is a little disappointing. Had it been half the price, I would say it was great. So, now that that is off my chest, let’s dive in.
The concept and text follow a pattern that it is Ramadan, the samosas are on the table for the guests and then there is a knock at the door and someone from a different country has arrived with a traditional dish, one meal more, to add to the table for them all to share. They get to 10 and the athan is called, they start with a date and they all eat.
I love that each of the women that arrive are not just from different countries, but that they are dressed different. Some are covered, some are not, those that are covered are all wearing their hijabs differently. The women are all smiling and the book shows diversity.
One could nitpick and say that many of the visitors do not bring a meal, they bring a drink or a snack, but I think that is besides the point. The point is that everyone from everywhere shares Ramadan, differently, but the same too. And this book brings the world down to size on one table and with welcome arms.
Muslims and non Muslim children ages 3 and up will get something out of it. Whether it just be counting or hearing different international foods or understanding how Ramadan unites Muslims all over the world, the repetitive words and pictures will illustrate the beauty of the month in a simple way.