Besides my personal stack of Ramadan books for children, I was surprised to find over twenty books dealing with Ramadan at my local library. They were written by Muslims and non-Muslims. While I was happy about the mix of the sources, I was also sad by the lack of the mention of the honorific title ﷺ of the Beloved, the misrepresentation and false facts that seeped and got weaved in some of them. As Muslim parents, we have to make sure that we are aware of what is and what is not Ramadan and Islam. Below is part of my current stack. Alhamdullilah for a library.
In this post, I will review some books and in the spirit of our countdown to the Sultan of the Months, I will review the others insha’Allah.
1. Ramadan (Celebrate the World) by Hannah Eliot
Summary: In the ninth month of the year, when the first crescent moon rises in the sky, it’s time to celebrate Ramadan! In this lovely board book with illustrations from Rashin Kheiriyeh, readers learn that Ramadan is a time to reflect on ourselves, to be thankful, and a time to help others.
What I liked: The book is suitable for a toddler like mine. He was naturally drown to it. The illustrations are bright and colorful. The texts are short and great for his attention span. Finally, the chickens made him giggle alhamdullilah.
What I didn’t like: The characters closed their eyes during prayers. This is a practice that other people of the book did and do. Muslims were advised not to do this. I’m not sure if it was a challenge to draw characters with eyes cast down instead of completely shut. Allahu alim.
2. Max celebrates Ramadan by Adria F. Worsham
Summary: Omar invites Max to his house for the end of Ramadan. Family, food, and fun are all part of the special day.
What I liked: The book reinforces the notion of giving, and the holy month is a lot about being charitable. It’s also an easy read to tackle with a toddler.
What I found strange: Moon and stars at the window during the Eid al-Fitr feast. Most Muslim families would agree that Believers rarely have a Ramadan dinner. Everybody is already full by then. The majority of the time, we are eager to eat at mid-day after thirty days of not doing so. I could be wrong.
3. Ramadan by Sheila Anderson
Summary: Introduces Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and prayer, and describes its history and the traditions and celebrations held for the holiday around the world.
What I liked: The book tries to answer basic questions about Ramadan succinctly. So, if you feel your child asks a lot of questions about Ramadan, this book can make your life easier.
What could have been worded better: “Muhammad is the founder of Islam. Muslims believe God told Muhammad how people should live their lives.” Everything about these two sentences is problematic to me. They were more Prophets sent with the message of Islam (Peace and Submission to The One True God) before Rasool sallallahu aleihi wassalam; the final and last Messenger. In addition, Islam is a way of life. It could have been worded this way in the second sentence.
4. My First Ramadan by Karen Katz
Summary: It’s time for Ramadan to begin. Follow along with one young boy as he observes the Muslim holy month with his family. This year, the narrator is finally old enough to fast, and readers of all ages will be interested as he shares his experiences of this special holiday in Islam.
What I liked: The book does a great job at showing the diversity of the adherents of Islam and encourages children to fast.
What I didn’t like: The characters also closed their eyes during prayers here too. It also felt like the protagonist’s family was missing their praying rugs, wore their shoes to pray and the little girl had no scarf on her head in the first pages of the book. She seemed old enough to don one in salaat.
5. Rashad’s Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr by Lisa Bullard
Summary: For Muslims, Ramadan is a time for fasting, prayer, and thinking of others. Rashad tries to be good all month. When it’s time for Eid al-Fitr, he feasts and plays! Find out how people celebrate this special time of year.
Favorite part: “I’ve decided I’m going to watch the moon all year. I know it will grow bigger and smaller many times.” — Rashad
If these books piqued your interest, add them to your collection of children books today by clicking on the hyperlinks. For more Ramadan reads, check here.
See you on March 4th and April 4th for more reviews of more books about Ramadan insha’Allah!
Thank you for reading,
~A Ducktrinor Mom~