I hadn’t even heard of this new Ramadan book until @bintyounus reviewed it, so it wasn’t in my 2023 Ramadan Reads Roundup, I apologize, but I’ve bought it, read it, and am sharing it now. I even hope to include it in my local masjid story time, if it is a smaller crowd as the 8.5 x 8.5 size is a bit small for a larger group to see the illustrations well. The story itself, though, is nice. It isn’t the simple list of what Ramadan is, or a first day of fasting hardship, it focuses on giving. The plot has a predictable story line that works in a few tidbits about Ramadan, but really is more a “feeling” book about the beauty of sharing as the poetic refrain of “It is the holy time of giving” is woven in to the 32 pages that follow two siblings and their grandma as they share their pomegranates with their neighbors to have the blessings return to them. Preschool to second graders will enjoy the sounds of the pomegranates, the happy ending, and the message of sharing what you love most.
The book starts with siblings Adam and Alyah laying under the pomegranate tree when Grandma Essi challenges them to climb the tree and pick the fruit. Once gathered they realize they have more than they can eat and they brainstorm who they can share with.
Ramadan is when the Quran was revealed, it is full of love and guidance. It was shared with us, so we should share too. So they load up the wagon and head out in to the neighborhood. When they give Maryam some pomegranates, they go plunk, plunk, plop into the bucket and she knows just what she will do with them. They wish her a Ramadan Karim and are off to the next house.
Uncle Shakir is greeted with salam and also knows just what to do with the juicy fruits. Mrs. Jones is given pomegranates and the trio explain that it is Ramadan a month of sharing our blessings with others for Muslims, she too knows just what she will do with her gift.
After all the pomegranates are distributed, the sun is getting low and the kids are wishing they saved a few fruits for them. Grandma isn’t worried though, she knows “Allah always rewards kindness with more.” And Grandma is right.
The book concludes with a glossary of terms and the book is meant for Muslims, but I think non Muslims would grasp the love and messaging and enjoy the story as well. I wish the book was larger, so the illustrations could be better enjoyed, but for the price point (EDIT: it has increased since I purchased it last week)tone, I was pleasantly surprised with the overall quality and tone of the book.
I purchased my paperback version here from Amazon, but it is also available as a hardback.