So glad to see another Zain Bhika song hit the mark and bring the beloved lyrics to life in book form. Ages 2 and up will enjoy the 28 page book even if they haven’t heard the song, and parents will enjoy watching the kids sing-read the pages independently if they have.
The illustrations are sweet and diverse with the characters and their families changing with each verse. But all celebrating in their appreciation for the light of Allah’s blessings and the patience of waiting for the rain to pass.
I particularly enjoy the Arabic in the clouds on the pages explaining what the character does whenever he/she feels down and looks up to the sky to see Allah’s signs.
The hardback book is sturdy with a playful large font on the pages, and is meant for Muslim kids with the concept coming from Surah An-Noor (24:35).
Harris J’s song by the same name gets stuck in my head because it seems like “Salam Alaikum,” is the only words in the song, so when I heard that he had written a book based on the lyrics, I was a little skeptical. But, total credit to the illustrator, the book is adorable, and the lyrics aren’t too bad either.
Thirty big pages, that radiate with light and happy faces and a big clear font that celebrates peace, love, and coming together. The words “Salam Alaikum” is a Muslim greeting, but there is nothing overtly religious. There is one muhajaba that appears on a few pages, but with the content matter, there is a lot of diversity in the book. A variety of skin tones, ages, clothing, genders, sizes, all come together to hold hands and work for peace.
The content isn’t ground breaking, but the number of words on the page are good for 3-6 year olds. And it does introduce that the world is more fun when we all work together and are kind. Kids will like the illustrations and return for them undoubtedly. It is hard to know if the books these days are truly better, or are just done better. But, while I checked this one out from the library, I think I just might want a copy of my own.
This beautiful book is a compilation of the lyrics from Dawud Wharnsby’s well known collection of songs found on the Colours of Islam CD released nearly 20 years ago. The book states for ages 5+ and is a large and very colorful 35 pages. The hardback binding, the inclusion of the CD, and the knowledge that royalties go to a trust fund supporting educational initiatives for children, make it a great gift item. It looks lovely on the shelf and the children will eagerly thumb through it, once. After that, I’m not entirely sure what to do with the book.
The pictures are very busy for the most part, and very detailed. The text on the page is pretty intimidating in its line length and volume. The songs are lovely, I’ve knows them by heart since I was a child, but I don’t know that they lend themselves directly to poetry for children. If a child knows the songs, or is following along with the CD then yes, older children will benefit from the book. A five-year-old or possibly a 7-year-old will not. I can see the poems/songs supplementing a language arts lesson in a classroom, and in a library the book looks wonderful displayed. But, as hard as it is for me to not gushingly praise a Dawud Wharnsby product, I don’t know that the book would really ever be read cover to cover and/or more than once.