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.