This new 32 page rhyming book focuses on a boy who gets frustrated and often loses his temper and how the onset of Ramadan has his father imparting the lesson that fasting isn’t just staying away from food and drink, but also about behavior and controlling your anger. He shares the hadith of saying “…I’m fasting, I’m fasting,” which is shared in its entirety and sourced at the end. The book has a lot of text and scenarios in its moral framed telling that creates a bit of a disconnect between the presentation and the target audience. The characters are fasting, there is no discussion about why they are fasting or that it is a first time fasting (thank you). the child’s art assignment is pretty advanced, and friends are seen independently out and about, but the rhyming lines and illustrations at the end of the kids on the rug seems aimed at a much younger reader/listener. For my purpose of story times to children 4-9 it is a great choice, because it can appeal to the large range of relatability and attention spans, but for repeated readings in a home, it might need some shortening or additional explaining to connect as intended.
The story starts with Nuh working on an assignment to draw and paint a picture of the Kaba, but it keeps coming out tilted and he crumples and throws page after page. His dad snuggles him close and explains that Shabaan is over and Ramadan is about to start which means that he needs to go without food and water, but also work on his behavior. He explains, how to use the advice of saying, “Fasting is my shield; I will not be defeated! I am fasting, I am fasting.”
Empowered by the words, Nuh starts his next morning remembering his father’s advice. When he spills water on his painting he remembers the advice. When a grocery cart collision at the store with his nemesis gets his fist clenching, he remembers his father’s advice. He even gets a chance to share his knowledge with his friends.
When the day is over he is eating iftar with his family and determined to keep his temper at bay throughout he whole month and beyond, inshaAllah, starting with him trying his drawing of the Kaba again.
I like that the focus is on behavior, I think that is a good reminder for older kids, and something younger kids that may or may not be fasting need to implement in Ramadan. I also like that the parents are encouraging and invested, but not controlling the individual situations. The book is preachy, and when the kid takes the lesson and starts preaching it to him, it is a little heavy handed, but I think it fits with the nature of the book. I appreciate that the kid knows what Ramadan and fasting is, so that the lesson can go a bit deeper in this Islamic fiction story.
I got my copy from Crescent Moon store, and you can get yours there as well by clicking this link here. If you use code ISL (Islamic School Librain initials) at checkout you will save 10%,