Looking at the books in the series, reading them to my children, getting the latest one delivered to my doorstep: every step along the way makes me smile, alhumdulillah. The soft warm illustrations and impressive amount of information lovingly conveyed in board book form really makes the series a staple for young children. The newest addition to the series is about Salah, and I love that the framing is that prayer is a blessing, it doesn’t open with listing the five daily prayers, it begins with Isra wal Miraj. It sets the tone that prayer is special and beautiful and a gift. It does eventually list the five required prayers, the words of the athan, Fatiha in English and Arabic, steps of wudu, and parts of salah, but the way it is woven together is seamless and so much more than just lists of information. With ayats from the Quran sprinkled in, the book flows from one focus to the next, leaving the end as always, for facts and questions. Appropriate for ages two and up, this 26 page board book can and will still inspire and teach older kids.
The only pause this book gave me were the illustrations. There is not a single page where the people praying are standing shoulder to shoulder, foot to foot. I could see if in a few pictures the creative liberty, or Covid reality manifest itself in the pictures, but whether it is a family praying, or people in a masjid, there is a gap between the individuals, and that seemed off to me. Additionally because of the spacing in all the pictures, the pictures where perhaps the people are not praying together, but are just shown to be making tasleem or the illustration that all Muslims of all colors and all professions and all abilities pray, it almost seems to show men and women praying together. I don’t know that the toddlers in the audience will notice, but perhaps be aware of it if when reading it to your children. Aside from that the illustrations show the global faith of Islam and the beauty that we all worship together.
Available to purchase here and I’m sure it will be stocked by Crescent Moon as well. Oh PS it also comes with a sheet of stickers.
Once again, Sara Khan pushes the standard of what can be conveyed and presented in a toddler board book. This book on Ramadan not only introduces concepts of the blessed month to our littles Muslims, but also provides details that will allow the book to stay relevant even as a child grows. The soft, yet colorful pages allow the book to be engaging and attention holding for ages 2 and up, and provides a great way to get young children looking forward to Ramadan, as well as be read repeatedly during the month. The 26 thick pages have a facts and questions about Ramadan at the end which make the book shareable with non Muslims and the many shapes, colors, cultures, and ages that make up our Muslim communities fill the pages that radiate with joy and love.
The book starts out expressing the excitement of Ramadan, the new moon, and the anticipation. It then talks about how Allah swt wants us to fast from dawn until sunset. It mentions the five pillars, and fasting in Ramadan being one of them, and what it means to fast.
It focuses on doing good deeds to make Allah swt happy. It also dedicates a two page spread to showing who doesn’t have to fast, which answers that inevitably next question that people ask. The book then says that even if you aren’t fasting, there are still blessings everyone enjoys in the month and spends a few pages detailing those activities and acts of worship.
It mentions that Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an and that Laylat al-Qadr is the night of power, but doesn’t give much detail about either. Eid is celebrated at the end and a dua is made referencing a hadith in Bukhari about entering through the gate of Ar-Rayyan.
I love that the book’s tone is that this is what Allah swt wants us to do, and this is what makes Him happy. Even with numerous Ramadan books out there, this one still manages to find a way to be unique, and truly the entire series is enjoyable and beneficial, alhumdulillah.
I had planned to review the Ramadan book in Sara Khan’s My First Book about series, but needless-to-say all of the board books in the collection look remarkably similar and the one on my shelf, that I thought was the Ramadan one is this one, the one about the Qur’an. Rather than find another Ramadan book, I figured to just go with it, Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an after all, and the book is both informative and engaging for little Muslims. The soft detailed pictures and sturdy binding introduce toddlers and up to the belief in Allah, the pillars, care for all creation and being good to one another.
The book starts out stating the the Qur’an tells us in the beginning there was only Allah, and that He created everything. His creations are as big as the heavens and the Earth and as small as the creatures we cannot even see. He created the trees and mountains and the angels and jinn, as well as the people, He made us all special.
Allah wants us to follow His rules and sent books and Prophets to show us how to act. He wants us to be good to one another, to be thankful, to look after our world, and everything in it. Allah wants us to worship Him alone and pray five times a day, fast in Ramadan, give money to the poor, and go for Hajj.
He also wants us to have families and to get married and raise our children to be good Muslims, so that when we die we will go to Paradise. The book ends with facts about the Qur’an and questions and answers that can help further the conversation, increase understanding, and encourage love for the holy book.
This 26 page non fiction sturdy board book packs in a lot of information in a really simple way that will keep little one’s attention and hopefully encourage them to ask deeper questions as they grow. The illustrations are soft and alternate between detailed familiar scenes and simple background style scenes that draw attention to the text on the page. It covers the Shahadah, who Allah (swt) is, it mentions that He has 99 names, that He sent us the Quran and the final messenger is Prophet Muhammad (saw). The book at times is wordy, and perhaps the vocabulary a bit above a toddlers level, but the flow is smooth and the tone is warm, inviting, and is requested often by my little ones. (It is reasonably priced by at small bookstores, and double the price on Amazon).
The book starts off by stating that Muslims believe that there is only one God and His name is Allah. It shows it in Arabic as well on a very muted background. The next page is much more lively with illustrations showing someone pray, a picture of the ka’aba, a family eating, and a mother reading Quran and making dua.
The family is then depicted gathered together with the little children asking “WHO is Allah?” and the book dedicating the next few pages to explaining that Allah swt, is the One who made everything and has power over all. He makes the sun rise and set and everything in the heavens and the earth belong to Him.
The book explains that Allah even loves us more than our own parents before explaining that Allah has 99 names and Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim are the ones we hear the most. The background has many of the names of Allah written in Arabic.
The family prays knowing Allah is All Hearing and All Seeing. An illustration of a cave with a bird and spiderweb accompany the page that tells us that He sent us the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (saw) to show us how to live. InshaAllah if we do as we are supposed to, we are promised paradise and Allah never breaks His promise.
The book concludes with Facts about Allah and Questions about Allah (swt). The pages are glossy and 6 x 8 in size.