I don’t normally post about upcoming releases this far in advance (2.5 months), but I am hoping that if I share the link for preorders, I just might help in signaling to the traditional publishing world that books like this are so so so important and that we will support unapologetic, well written, Muslim centered, Muslim and Black joy featured books with our purchasing power. This book is incredible for toddlers to early elementary in its “This is the House that Jack Built” format. Muslim kids will giggle with excitement as they see themselves happy to see their friends at Jumu’ah, flinging shoes a little too hard before entering the musallah, splashing a bit when making wudu, playing while helping put out the prayer rugs, and getting a little wiggly or tired during the khutbah. The happiness and love radiates off the pictures and through the text that even non Muslim readers will feel our connection to our Masjids and the prayers that occur within. Muslim authored, Muslim illustrated, masjid not mosque, and a beautiful Author’s Note, makes this book a must have on every shelf where young children need books that mirror their experiences and provide windows into the beauty of Islam.
The book starts out describing Kamal’s smile and offering the reason for such joy as being Jumu’ah at the masjid. It then starts with describing the masjid and all that is contained with the lines adding on the refrain of “the masjid Kamal loves.” The friends, the shoes, the feet, the rugs, etc.. Terms such as imam, ummah, salaam are in the text and the illustrations show wudu, salat, khutbah, conveying a Jumu’ah experience.
Each page is brightly illustrated across horizontal orientated scenes. The expressions on the kids faces, are engaging and smile inducing and the lyrical text has a rhythm and strength that makes you feel proud to also have a masjid to love like Kamal.
I have an arc, but have preordered a copy for myself here and hope you will do the same. Please also request your public libraries to order it, and if they have already you can place the book on hold, inshaAllah little steps to show support.