1. My First Surahs
Author: Hajar Ashmawey currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her family. She is a full time wife, mother, and mental health professional. Hajar earned her
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health/Counseling from Oakland University in Michigan. She enjoys spending time with her family and working with children.
Illustrator: Jenny Reynish is an artist and illustrator working mainly in children’s publishing and has created a wide variety of illustrations for US and UK publishers. Her individual and decorative style was sparked by a Persian rug from Isfahan, inherited from her aunt. She loves the colors and decorative patterns of the Middle East and India, and finds much inspiration from living by the sea. She works in watercolor, oil, and linoprint. www.magiccarpetpics.co.uk
Summary: Enjoy reading seven surahs of the Quran, written against seven beautiful pieces of art. Contemplate each surah as you recite it to your little ones while enjoying the artistic backgrounds. Plus! Each surah includes a lesson to implement into everyday life.
Thoughts: The book offers simplistic lessons to take away from seven short surahs of the Quran. It’s also imperative that as parents we supplement these concise summaries with in-depth tafsirs of these surahs. For instance, al Fatiha is not only about only worshiping the one true God or seeking His help alone, it’s also about not following in the steps of those who were given books before us. In short, al Fatiha is also about correct guidance seeking.
Sneak peak inside the book…
2. Salaam World
Author: Samia Khan is a Muslim American writer and high school English teacher. She is the author of The Shapes of Eid, According to Me. Samia was first inspired to write by her experience of becoming a mother, and continues to turn to her children for creativity. She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago. You can learn more about Samia by connecting with her www.instagram.com/booksbysamiakhan.
Illustrator: Teresa Abboud is a Georgia-based illustrator and a 2D animator. She graduated from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts. She grew up in Lebanon in an artistic environment, in an atmosphere of integrity and disorder, war and liberty. Teresa’s art reflects her inner feelings. Her aesthetic choices come directly from this atmosphere that marked her childhood. Teresa wants to tell stories, share feelings, express ideas, and transmit emotions through her art.
Summary: A greeting is an exchange between people that is perhaps one of the earliest forms of communication learned by children. This rhyming children’s book about the Arabic salutation of Salaam is a fun introduction to the concept of peace, for even the youngest of readers. A book that fosters diversity and inclusiveness!
Thoughts: Very cute and rhyming.
3. Assmaa A. Andulsi: The Girl Who is Like No Other
Assmaa A. Andulsi: The Girl Who is Like No Other is about a modern Muslim American girl. Assmaa thinks she should be more famous than Snow White, Princess Aurora or Cinderella. Everywhere she goes, she carries two sets of herself. One writes in English from left to right while the other writes in Arabic from right to left. One goes to public school during the week, and the other attends Sunday school at the mosque. One admires George Washington and Martin Luther King while the other loves the Prophet Mohamed. These two identities make her different, special, and a girl who is like no other. Sometimes she struggles to understand others. When she yells at her third-grade teacher for not fasting during Ramadan, super-duper trouble follows. Her mother explains that since her teacher is Christian, she doesn’t fast. Since Assmaa didn’t know how other people live and believe, others probably don’t know much about how her family lives and believes. She sets up a food drive to teach her fellow students about an important principle called zakat, the act of giving. The story briefly introduces readers to all five pillars of Islam: salat, or prayer; sawm, or fasting; zakat, charitable giving; hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca; and shahada, the declaration of faith.
Thoughts: This is a chapter book. Assmaa is a very enthusiastic young North-African American but more precisely a Tunisian-American who means well. The book can feel a bit like info-dump at times but it’s also a love letter to Assmaa from her father.
4. Our Colorful World
The Author & Illustrator: Golnar Servatian is an award-winning Iranian children’s book and magazine freelance illustrator. She has been illustrating for kids since 2006 and won awards in international level. Publishing more than 50 books. She also enjoys painting and writing stories and poems. She has a Bachelors in Graphic Design and a Masters in Fine Arts. Visit www.instagram.com/golnarservatian and www.golnarservatian.com .
Thoughts: Colorful and rhythmic, the book depicts the un-matchable creations of al Khaliq.
Thank you for reading,
~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~