I don’t know how I missed this board book from 2020, possibly because I have the old school original Goodword one I didn’t think to acquire this one, but now that I have it, I’ll share my thoughts. The illustrations are the same as the original, with a few placement rearranging and color changes, but the text (unfortunately) is completely different and the binding is now a small 5×5 22 page board book. The book is all over the place with what is included about Ramadan, there is no story, and at times the vocabulary is definitely too advanced for little listeners. Honestly, the book is great for little hands to carry around and for parents to point out important parts about Ramadan in the illustrations to talk to toddlers and preschoolers about, but the text is really hit and miss. As my mom, a veteran preschool and ESL teacher would say, “don’t read the story, tell the story.” I don’t regret buying it, but I doubt I’ll ever read it cover to cover as written to my three year old, he doesn’t grasp the need to hand out Qurans in English to our friends and neighbors, but he benefits from the page before saying that “Ramadan is the month of the Quran” and seeing the smiling Muslim faces praying, caring for others, and praising Allah swt.
The book starts with Ramadan starting and bringing joy and happiness as it fills our hearts with peace and love for Allah. It states we fast from dawn to dusk which makes us hungry and thirsty, but that these feelings “remind us that food and water are great blessings from Allah.” I love this point about remembering our blessings from Allah, and that it then mentions shukr, and being thankful. It then says that Ramadan is the month of the Quran and that we read it and need to apply it in our lives.
I don’t understand the dawah page, and I wish the following page with a hadith was sourced. It then returns to the purpose of fasting, this time saying we do it to “train ourselves to be kind, peaceful, and patient. It makes us caring for others.” These are great lessons to come from fasting, but we fast because Allah swt prescribed it for us.
The book stays on this theme of fasting reminding us about the poor and needy and encouraging us to feed and help them, but doesn’t mention zakat or charity by name. It then defines taqwa and says fasting helps develop it before spending four pages on Lailatul Qadr, using phrases such as “Night of Destiny,” “innumerable angels” which might need some explanation, and taraweeh was never mentioned.
The book concludes with Ramadan ending and Eid al Fitr being celebrated. Goodword seems to recycle and update parts of books every so often, and I hope they will tweak this book to be a better fit for toddlers and preschool aged readers. Board books are important, the illustrations fun, but the text needs some attention to truly make the book a staple in Muslim homes.
I purchased mine here from Crescent Moon Store if you use my initials ISL (Islamic School Librarian) you can save 10%. Happy Ramadan.