This 32 page early reader is part of the Nadia and Nadir series that can be read and purchased as a standalone. It shows the sibling duo problem solving, working together, sharing, and getting excited for Ramadan. With the theme of cookies, the book could work as a read aloud in a small group with an activity of making cookies following it, but the small leveled reader size and text volume would make it a hard selection for larger groups. The setting is Ramadan, the female characters wear hijab (even in the home with just family), but there is not a lot of religious beliefs or practices included in the story. It does detail the lunar calendar and phases of the moon, but thankfully does a decent job of inserting that knowledge from Nadia who has learned about the moon in science class. There are a few salams, and it mentions that Nadir isn’t fasting because he is young, Nadia gets up for their predawn meal, and snuggles back in to bed after saying her prayers. There is articulation that Ramadan is a month for Muslims and a time to share blessings when the kids share their cookies with the neighbors. There is a handful of Urdu words sprinkled in and a glossary at the end. The book shows a family’s traditions and radiates joy, it is a solid addition to Muslim and non Muslim book shelves in showing Ramadan cookie making and excitement in action, but would not inform a lot about the religious aspects, uniqueness, or basic practices about the month.
Nadia and Nadir start the book with their binoculars around their necks waiting for Abu to arrive home from work, Ammi is already on the roof and they are determined to spot the Ramadan moon. The kids are all sorts of confused where to even look in the vast night sky, but once Abu helps them out they find it and declare, “Chand Mubarak.”
Nadir wants to know why it isn’t a full moon, and his older sister Nadia explains the cycles, they are then off to make cookies as per their families Ramadan tradition. The dough is ready, the star cookie cutter has been found, but where is the moon cookie cutter? Nadia has an idea, and sure enough her problem solving skills allow crescent moons to be made.
The next morning Nadia has her predawn meal of cookies and milk and when Nadir wakes up he has the same. The kids pack up bags of cookies with their Ammi to pass to neighbors and friends, with only one left who will get it Nadia or Nadir?
The books are available widely at places such as Amazon but for the same price I hope you will support a small Muslim owned bookstore and purchase your copy at Crescent Moon, if you use my initials ISL (Islamic School Librarian) at checkout you will save 10%, link: