The holy month of Ramadan is just around the corner (expected to start on May 6th). Every Muslim family is busy preparing for the announcement of its arrival, signalled by the sighting of the moon.
Here in the West, included in our preparations of welcoming the month of Ramadan is also being prepared to share what is Ramadan about to our non-Muslim friends and neighbours, or family members. Sharing Ramadan with others who are not practising and celebrating it comes in many different ways, may it be through inviting our friends and neighbours to our family iftar, giving away Ramadan baskets or simply by sharing information.
As part of my preparation with my boys for Ramadan, I borrowed the books below from our local library, Sherwood Forest Mall . I also explored the London Public Library website and found the collections of “Ramadan books” available.
by Khadijah Knight
It is a book for young readers introducing Islam’s basic concept. It teaches the readers about the five pillars of the Muslim beliefs through its character Tayeba in an indirect way.
It teaches belief in Allah alone as the Creator of everything in the world.
The book also discusses prayer and the rituals that come along with it, such as wudhu, the timings and direction, it mentioned briefly the Qur’an and the use of stories about Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
Tayeba’s favourite time of the year is Ramadan, and it mentioned why and what are the things she and her family do during Ramadan. Her father’s journey to Hajj was mentioned while she emphasizes the Eid celebrations.
The author included notes for parents and teachers to be able to clarify and explain the concepts mentioned in the book. In the end, there’s a glossary where some words often used by Muslims are defined.
I like how light and concise is the introduction of the concepts of Islam in this book, and easy for readers to grasp. My 5-year old son enjoyed this book and learned from it.
by Hannah Eliot
This colorful board book is enjoyable and attractive to children ages 3+.
It talks about the Ramadan as the ninth month of the year based on the appearance of the crescent moon. It discusses the spiritual aspect of Ramadan as well as the usual rituals of having suhoor (breakfast at dawn time), and iftar (breaking of the fast) at sunset.
The book relates how everything is normal during this month but emphasizes on the good deeds Muslims strive to do and it ends with the celebration of Eid.
The language in this book is simple and easy to understand by young readers while the colourful illustrations are truly irresistible to the young ones and definitely enhances their imagination.
by Hena Khan
The book is about George’s observation of Ramadan with his friend’s Kareem’s first fast. He helped Kareem succeed his first day of fasting by keeping him away from the kitchen and busy during the day.
It mentions how people gather to wait for iftar at sunset and how George helped in preparing the Ramadan basket to be distributed to the needy. George looked for the crescent moon that announces eid. During the festivity, he enjoyed hours of fun and feast until it was time to go.
The illustration of this book captured the comical side of it, which will make it enjoyable to read for children ages 2-6. In this 16-page board book, the author was able to introduce all the different aspects of the holy month. This a book suited for young readers who are curious about fasting and other events during the blessed month up until the eid day.
by Na’ima Robert
This lyrical book expressed the anticipation of Muslims in waiting for the sighting of the new moon that announces the start of the month of Ramadan. It points out the joyful feelings and celebration held around the world with the beginning of the Holy Month.
The illustration captured the everyday scenario of going to the masjid during this month to reflect on the words of the Lord. It showed how the night is full of life around this time. At home, families pray together and during the day everyone focuses on doing good deeds, and trying not to get angry.
As the moon transitions, the books illustrated the passing of month, the eagerness to look for the Night of Power until Ramadan slowly ends. Then a new crescent comes to welcome the Eid celebration. The day of jubilation around the world.
by Ausma Zehanat Khan
It begins with the narration of the author about her Ramadan experience as a 9-year old girl. Then moving on to explain what is Ramadan? What is Islam? and who are the Muslims?
The thick glossy pages of this book are brought to life by the real pictures used in it, letting the reader have a realistic image of the Ka’bah, mosques, Muslims and many more.
The author gave detailed information about the month of Ramadan and the rituals that come with it. She anchored the narration in the book to real Ramadan stories of children ages 12.
It’s interesting to have a glimpse of the people observing Ramadan around the world through the captivating pictures, along with the facts about each country.
The book is wordy, and heavily detailed I recommend this to readers who are age 13+. It is also a good source of information about Islam and Ramadan for non-Muslims who are curious about the significance of this Holy month.
by Joyce Bentley
It starts by briefly mentioning Islam and its 5 pillars, then focused on the month of Ramadan explaining the fast, iftar, and giving money and food to the poor.
The author used pictures of real scenes during Ramadan fo illustrate the events like iftar, giving money and food to the poor. All through the pages, there are blurbs and snippets of additional information.
The author was able to capture in the book the preparation Muslims do the day before the Eid day – such as cleaning the house, buying or preparing beautiful clothes and cooking foods and sweets. As she emphasized during Eid “Muslims take pride in looking their best.”
On Eid day, she demonstrated the joyful celebration through food and visitation of people to different houses, its unlimited treats of sweets for children and fun day for the family too.
The book is an informational book, it’s short and the pictures are engaging. I think children age 7+ will enjoy this book.
By Sylvia Whitman
My sons enjoyed this book for its repeated rhymes. It is a lyrical book mentioning actions done in Ramadan under the moon. It was a light read for my boys. The illustrations are beautiful, it enriched the lyrics of the book and pleasing to the children. There’s a detailed note about Ramadan at the end of the book. I highly recommend this picture book for young readers.
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