This book is part of a new Muslim Scientist Series featuring 24 glossy colorful 8×8 pages highlighting a great Muslim from the Golden Age of Islam. Meant for Muslim children ages 4-7, the book sets out to teach and inspire little Muslims, and does a pretty decent job of presenting it in a memorable easy to understand way. Adults might have to explain and help out a bit, but the book accounts for that too.
The book starts off with some “Notes to Parents and Teachers” about supplemental activities and conversation starters to make the book relevant, and show how beneficial their contributions to science were and still are today.
The book is a simplified biography of Ibn Yunus, and I would imagine the other books: Ibn Majid, Ibn Battuta, Ibn Al-Batar, follow the same pattern. It tells about where he was born and when, and what he is famous for, before telling a bit about his family, an ayat from the Quran that inspired him is then given in English and Arabic and translated, before it shows how he worked toward his goal, and the accomplishments he made in his lifetime that still are used today.
The fun illustrations make Ibn Yunus’s field of study easier to understand and will keep the littler listeners interested. Adults will hopefully also learn something in the reading, and feel the same pride and inspiration of Muslim’s contributions to science.
It is critical to teach our children about the accomplishments and discoveries of Muslims, and this non fiction series is a great introduction to Muslim scientists, scholars, and adventurers, that they might not otherwise learn about.
This 22 page beautifully illustrated picture book clarifies that it is not a science book, but rather an invitation to think deeply. For ages 4 and up the rhyming pages will appeal to children’s sense of wonder and Allah’s perfection and precision. Older kids will appreciate the journey through the cosmos and how limitless Allah swt is in all things.
The book starts with Earth and how the spinning of our planet on its axis allows for the alternation of night and day, it then moves to how going around the sun at Allah’s command gives us our seasons. But because it rhymes and is not a science book, the text is more imagery and tangible in nature, rather than a list of facts.
It touches on the moon reflecting borrowed light and the power and strength of the sun before moving on to the planets and gravity.
It then extends out to the Milky Way and has a page on black holes before coming back to Earth for us to recognize how we only are a small part of something so much bigger.
There are two pages at the end with talking points, an ayat from the Quran, and emphasis that science and Islam are not at odds as Allah is the creator and governor of all things.
The book is 6×9 and with the beautiful illustrations I truly wish the book was larger. Not only to dive in to the glossy pages easier, but also so that the book could be used at story time to small groups. The tone is contemplative and marveling as it challenges the readers to find mistakes or flaws in the perfection of outer space. I love that science-y Islamic kid books are now available that appeal to children’s sense of wonder and understanding. Really the only other suggestion I would have liked to see, would have been a page defining the word “cosmos” as it is used on every page, and while I think kids will figure it out as the continue through the book, I think it is a bit of a block for the younger readers.