The Gift of Ramadan — A Review

Assalamu aleikum!

the gift of ramadan

Ramadan is fastly approaching, and I finally get a chance to read and review a book I have wanted to get my hands on for quite some time alhamdullilah.

Summary : Sophia wants to fast for Ramadan this year. She tries to keep busy throughout the day so she won’t think about food. But when the smell of cookies is too much, she breaks her fast early. How can she be part of the festivities now?

Author : Rabiah York Lumbard

Illustrator : Laura K. Horton

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Review and thoughts : The Gift of Ramadan is wonderfully illustrated with a moving story. My only issue was the part of the salat portrayal on the women’s side. The father’s portrayal was fine with his eyes cast down.
On the women’s side, the neck of Sophia’s grandma is bare. She is basically praying with only her turban and her finger is raised in the air I guess to proclaim tawheed. I felt like this part wasn’t executed well or technically accurate. In addition, the strands of hair of Sophia’s mom are showing below her scarf during salat. Outside of salat, people are free to use whatever type of veil they like but during salat we should be thoroughly covered in my opinion to attract angels in the room.

Above all, The Gift of Ramadan explains this important milestone and holy moment for Muslims to those who don’t know while also portraying the determination of a young girl wanting to observe Ramadan in other ways she can instead.

Find it on Amazon here.

Rating : 4/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

She Was The Moon — A Review

she was the moon front cover

Summary : A whimsical illustrated book celebrating both the beauty of the scarf and the imagination of young children.

Author & Illustrator: A.Bilal

Review and thoughts : She Was The Moon is a very artistic self-published picture book. The author, A.Bilal, uses whimsical surrealism as designing style to convey her message to the reader; girls, mothers, and women are nurturing and everywhere if we want to take an abstract view of the world. The words of the book are also metaphorical and poetic. Let me just show you below.

She was the moon sun Throughout the book, the scarf and more women are used metaphorically to denote more elements of nature. On the cover, it’s the scarf that takes the shape of the moon. Simply genius.

She Was The Moon by A.Bilal is available on Amazon here. Read more about the book on social media here.

Rating : 5/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

The Proudest Blue — A Review

Assalamu aleikum,

the proudest blue 1

Summary : With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab–a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.

Authors : Ibtihaj Muhammad & S.K.Ali

Illustrator : Hatem Aly

Publisher: Little, Brown Books

Review and thoughts : The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family is a lyrical account of a kind-hearted black Muslim character called Faizah about her older sister’s hijab on the first day of school. Her older sister’s name is Asiya.

Faizah and Asiya are the actual names of Ibtihaj’s sisters. I briefly met the author during eid prayer while visiting my family a couple years ago in New Jersey.

Asiya, her real sister, was actually very friendly to me. Therefore, I like the protagonist in the book because she is based on a real character, alhamdullilah. That day, my son was wearing a blue outfit from head to toes, too. Masha’Allah. After I read it, he picked up the book and mock-read it himself. On the inside flap of the back cover, he spotted his first name in the last names of one of the authors. That puzzled him, and he wondered how his name got on a book. He asked me if I put it there, and I told him, “No.” Hehe. Alhamdullilah.

To continue, The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family shows the unbreakable spirit of a young girl in the face of bullying. She quickly remembers the strong and powerful words of her mom to help her carry on, head high:

 Don’t carry around the hurtful words that others say. Drop them. They are not yours to keep. They belong to those who said them.

Easily said than done perhaps, but they carry a lot of truth. Some days, it will be easier to overlook the abuse, and other days, it won’t be so easy for sure because of the whispers. But, we must remain steadfast and do us and hope that one day they see the truth. If they don’t see it, oh well, that’s not our problem. It’s theirs.

Furthermore, Hatem Aly’s illustrations are consistent with his previous works I have had the chance to review or read. Plus, I love blue. It’s a color of order, authority and self-respect. Masha’Allah.

Above all, The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family is an empowering read to add to the bookshelf of the Mumeenas you’re raising in your respective homes. It could also help with cultural sensitivity awareness tailored to non-Muslims so that they may not fear the hijab. Or at least, so they may respect other people’s differences. 

Rating : 4/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

 

 

Eid Breakfast at Abuela’s — A Review

Eid Abuelas Launch Poster

Summary: Join Sofia, her mom and dad who spend Eid – the Islamic holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan – with her Mexican grandmother, who is not Muslim but chooses to throw them a festive breakfast which includes traditional Mexican food, decorations, and activities. The book includes many Spanish words and a glossary as well to introduce the reader to simple words in Spanish and even Arabic.

Author: Mariam Saad was raised in Southern California by Egyptian parents. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton. She worked at the family business for many years, with schools locally, and taught 8th Grade English abroad. With the birth of her son, her time and energy were focused at home while she surrounded him with reading materials and developmental toys. Before getting a taste for his board books, her son had taken interest in listening to her voice while he admired the images and felt the textures on the pages. This was the start of her inspiration in entering the world of children through story telling and lesson teaching.

Illustrator: Chaymaa Sobhy is a children’s book illustrator based in Cairo, Egypt.
www.linktr.ee/chaymaadraws
Instagram: @chaymaadraws

Publisher: Prolance

Review: Eid Breakfast at Abuela’s is a very cute story that reflects the diversity of the United States. Though, Grandma is Mexican and not Muslim, there are many Spanish speaking Muslim families who will see value in this book as their families are somewhat reflected in the book with the language. Religion tolerance is also portrayed in this book as well. Little Sofia who is cute as a button speaks Arabic, English and Spanish; therefore, she is tri-lingual. The illustrations are also evocative and the texts are simple. While the book centers around eid al-Fitr, it can be a very good read for eid al-Adha since both holidays deal with huge breakfasts in Muslim households. Get it here at the Publisher’s site.

Rating : 4.5/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

I received a free eCopy for my honest feedback.  Check out the Sneak Peek Page below!

Sneak Page eid at abuela

Understand Your Child’s Development — A Resourceful Parenting Guide

Assalamu aleikum!

New Release! Book Launch and Blog Tour uycd 6 18 19 fb twitter banner

This amazing resource is by the following professionals :
Jameela Ho at Muslim Parenting & Ilma Ed
Irna Fathurrubayah at Atfalna Education 
Weronika Ozpolat at Multicultural Motherhood
Nabila Ikram at Everlearning, Everlasting
Afshan Mohammed
&
Hannah Morris at ActiveMindCare.

Book launch hosts :
Tiah Ayesha designs ParisLondon
The Muslim Woman Blog
TeacherMabid
Our Amanas Our Futures
Discount Domestic
Alizehmysoul
Let’s Learn Mama
Ilma Ed Muslim Parenting
Black Seedlings
Amuslimmama
All Book Edu PNW
Papatya Feauxzar at a Ducktrinor Mom

EBook link: https://www.amazon.com/Understand-Your-Childs-Development-M

Paperback link : https://www.amazon.com/Understand-Your-Childs-…/…/1947148281

#muslimparenting #parentingtips #parentingguides #newrelease#alhamdullilah #muslimchildren
#djarabikitabs #homeschooling #homeschoolingparents

PRESS RELEASE : “WHAT AM I? BOOK 2” BY ASIILA IMANI & PAPATIA FEAUXZAR

Between Sisters, SVP!

New Release! Book Launch and Blog Tour wami 2 final 5 20 19

A MUSLIM PICTURE BOOK DEDICATED TO MULTI-ETHNICITY CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD

DALLAS, TX — June 1st, 2019. DJARABI KITABS PUBLISHING has officially released What Am I ? Book 2 by African American Muslim Author Asiila Imani and Ivorian American Muslim Author Papatia Feauxzar.

About the main character : Toa Idris is six years old. One of his favorite things to do is listening to G-Ma tell him about his rich ancestral roots. Sometimes Toa becomes a little confused. G-Ma says that his people come from many places: islands in the Pacific Ocean, the west coast of Africa, Europe, China, and the original Native Americans. What race can Toa be? Join Toa as he uncovers the answer to this question.

1. Why did you decide to co-author What Am I? Book2 ?

After receiving a copy of WHAT AM I? Book 1, which coincided with the birth of my…

View original post 780 more words

Yaseen’s Big Dream — A Review

New Release! Book Launch and Blog Tour

Summary: Yaseen has got some big dreams. He dreams of helping his family, his friends, and his community. But is it really possible for a kid like Yaseen to do all of those things? Of course it is! Read Yaseen’s Big Dream to follow him on an adventure unlike any other.

 

Author: Umm Juwayriyah

Illustrator: Azra Momin

Formatted by: Reyhana Ismail

Publisher: Djarabi Kitabs Publishing

 

Review: The first thing that crossed my mind after I read the already illustrated and designed Yaseen’s Big Dream by Umm Juwayriyah was, “Yaseen’s Big Dream is a book that will inspire the Muslim Youth.” This is because Yaseen is an inspirational character who is loved, cherished and raised to believe that he can reach beyond the stars! He motivates and entertains the reader with his strong wills.

Additionally, he loves his family and they love him back, he stays busy with extra-curricular activities, he dreams big, has an intact fitra and much, much, much more. Not only will Yaseen inspire the readers, he will push for them to do more for their communities. Though the text is a bit complex for my son’s age, we read it several times. My toddler is at a point of time where he attempts to recap stories to me to show me his storytelling skills alhamdullilah. And that what’s he did with this book. He firmly declared that that he was a boy and that he was Yaseen. Masha’Allah alhamdullilah.

Umm Juwayriyah’s writing style usually respects the protagonist’s voice. Therefore, if the protagonist naturally and culturally speaks informally or formally, the dialogue and mind of the protagonist will show this. On the other hand, if the protagonist is too young to know sentences’ syntax or treat adults a certain way, she portrays this as well. I appreciate her efforts to make her characters real.

Above all, Yaseen’s Big Dream by Umm Juwayriyah is a definite recommended and empowering read for children around the world and especially in minority areas so that they may realize that when things look bleak for them, they have to BELIEVE that they can do anything they put their mind to. In other words, they can decide to be happy and make the change they (and we all) want to see!

 

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

Ayesha Dean and The Seville Secret’s Online Book Launch!

ayesha graphic for fofkys book launch 4 6 19

Interviewer: Papatia Feauxzar

Interviewee: Melati Lum

The Seville Secret — An Interview with the Author

Ayesha Dean is back with another mystery to resolve in The Seville Secret and our bookstore is excited to get an interview with the author.

Q1- Did you have to go on a literary pilgrimage for this second tome?

A1- Yes! Just like I drew on my visit to Istanbul with The Istanbul Intrigue, I did the same with some scenes in The Seville Secret, although I went there many years ago. The first time I visited Seville and Cordoba, I loved Andalusia so much that I found myself back there again a few years later, but I added Granada, Madrid, and Barcelona to our itinerary as well as returning to Seville and Cordoba. Making those trips and seeing so many sights of historical significance to Muslim rule in Andalusia touched me deeply. It felt amazing to walk the halls and passages of our ancient brethren and to imagine what life would have been like in the ‘Golden Age’ of Islam when the pursuit of knowledge in the arts, philosophy, spirituality, medicine, architecture, music, astrology, and beyond was celebrated and encouraged. It was also an excellent reminder of the temporariness of worldly power and how things can change very quickly in a relatively short space of time.

Q2- I loved the story as it shares a lost Islamic history in a non-preachy way. Additionally, I felt like the story had a very platonic romantic vibe; something I appreciated and it’s something that’s rarely done in YA these days. Everybody is dating in almost all YA books. Was the vibe I felt in Ayesha Dean II intentional for the young adult crowd?

A2- Yes, with respect to the innocent romance. Even though Ayesha Dean and her friends are older teens, I’m conscious of the book being directed at middle-graders, so I didn’t want the love aspect to play too much of a role. ‘Love’ as a pre-teen can be a new and exciting concept, but I think the majority of parents who buy books for their children agree that any ‘love scenes’ should be PG-rated for a children’s book.

Definitely!

Q3- How do you define success in the writing industry?

A3- Success means so many different things to different people. Even within myself, I have different ‘levels’ of success for different aspects of my writing. The writing industry is so wide that it would be difficult to provide an unqualified answer (that’s probably the lawyer in me speaking). I feel like I have achieved some success in writing and publishing a book series that has made a lot of young people happy to see that someone they can relate to is represented in a story book. I’ve written stories that I would have loved reading as a Muslim child growing up as a minority. The positive feedback I’ve received from teachers, parents and children has been an absolute pleasure to behold. But does that mean I think I’ve written a literary masterpiece? No way! In the writing aspect I know I have much to learn. I feel like my writing has improved with the second book, and I fully intend to keep improving as I go along.

Q4- How do you deal with good and bad reviews?

A4- Good reviews are always a pleasure to read! Bad reviews are infinitely less pleasurable. Once I get over the initial hurt of a bad review, I try to approach it with an open mind. I do my best to take constructive criticism on board. But if the criticism isn’t constructive, I try my best to put it out of my mind. I know different things appeal to different people. You can’t always please everyone in life!

Q5- What do you want your readers to take away from this book?

A5- As our world becomes more globalized, and people of all cultures are becoming more integrated in society, I think it’s crucial that more diversity is represented in the books we read. It’s important for Muslims to also be represented among the thousands of heroines or heroes available in children’s literature. I hope that Ayesha Dean can teach children a little bit about Muslims and Islam, and from the resulting familiarity and empathy, both Muslim and non-Muslim kids can benefit by learning more about the world around them.

Melati, thank you for being with us.

Readers, please check out the review of Ayesha Dean – The Seville Secret below.

 

Ayesha Dean — The Seville Secret is the next tome in the cozy mystery series of Australian author Melati Lum.

Summary

Ayesha, Sara and Jess are back in an exciting new adventure, and this time they’re off to Spain! When a fellow passenger’s beloved grandpa strangely disappears, Ayesha and her friends gladly join in the search for the missing person. But as Ayesha delves further into the mystery, the more sinister the stakes become! Ayesha finds a link between the missing person and a 16th century diary that contains clues to an ancient mystery. However, each step closer to discovery seems to pose greater chances of peril. Can Ayesha uncover the truth without putting herself and her friends in mortal danger?

Like Ayesha Dean – The Istanbul Intrigue , book two is also a pleasantly fast read. Ayesha and her friends Sara and Jessica befriend a young man whose grandpa is in trouble. Once in Spain, the girls lend the young man some help to resolve the mystery surrounding his family. This leads them to admire and discover the landmarks in the cities they sight-see, witness the culture and most importantly for me, savor the local food! I happily made Churros while reading this book, and you won’t regret doing the same as it was a good reading companion.

In Ayesha Dean — The Seville Secret, Ayesha upgrades her sleuthing skills. We also find out that Dean can be an Imam and an Accountant with a penchant for the right kind of asceticism. Furthermore, she is a good ambassador of Islam. This is demonstrated by her nice manners such as her willingness to help anyone who asks to pitch in. Dean’s subtle devotion to her faith is a great plus. Thus, her non-Muslim uncle and friends Sara and Jessica have no issue with Islam.

Now, because Ayesha is still young, her uncle doesn’t completely appreciate the fact that she puts the lot of them in danger, and we can understand his concerns. She is dealing once again with unsavory gangsters. Ayesha reassures him to be more careful and takes the necessary precautions to avoid causing harm to herself and her friends.

From devouring delicious Spanish food, uncovering sad and loving family histories and ancestries, evading and exposing dangerous treasure seekers to making appropriate and exciting friendships, this is the book you want your teenager to read in an overly materialistic society.

You can find out about Melati Lum on her website www.melatilum.com.au.

You can follow her on social by clicking on the following:

https://www.facebook.com/melatilum.author/

https://www.instagram.com/melati.lum/

https://twitter.com/melatilum

To end, I highly recommend Ayesha Dean — The Seville Secret to the teen in you and around you who fancy cool and exciting Middle Grade and YA books.

Our Rating: 4.5/5

Original Source: Fofky’s Blog

Ready for Ramadan 2019 : A Countdown and Review of Some Ramadan Books – III

Assalamu aleikum!

Check out three more books for #readyforramadan2019 below please.

 

In Ramadan Launch Poster

 

1. In Ramadan by Mariam Popal Hama

In Ramadan Front Cover

Summary: Contemplate the experiences and lessons in Ramadan through our animal friends. With 30 different aspects of Ramadan explored. Including the Arabic word for each.

Author & Illustrator: Mariam Popal Hama

Publisher: Prolance

Review: In Ramadan is a very artsy children’s book that will help children reflect on thirty basic elements of the nine month of the hijri calendar. Children will learn to link the holy month to the world around—animals and nature— them. The book also uses faceless animals and numbers to achieve this purpose. Finally,  In Ramadan will also increase the vocabulary of children and help them focus more on the light and souls of elements around of them.

sneak peak in ramadan

Thanks to Prolance for the free copy.

Rating: 4.5/5

Courtesy of the Dallas Public Library…

jinni night of moon

2. The Jinni on the Roof by Natasha Rafi

the jinni on the rooftop

Summary: Eight-year-old Raza is too young to fast, but he longs for the delicious parathas the grown-ups eat before dawn. The aroma of the flaky, golden bread tempts him. He cannot wait for the children’s breakfast, but he’ll get into trouble if anyone finds him up this early. Lying in bed, Raza hatches a plan. Will he get away with it? This is a delightful tale about a mischievous boy who learns the true meaning of Ramadan – patience and empathy.

Author: Natasha Rafi

Publisher: Pamir LLC

Review: The Jinni on the Roof is an hilarious story that portrays the level of genius of Raza, and his willingness to help his family during Ramadan. I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4.5/5

3. Night of the Moon by Hena Khan

night of the moon

Summary: …this sweet tale follows Yasmeen, a seven-year-old Pakistani-American girl, as she celebrates the Muslim holidays of Ramadan, “The Night of the Moon” (Chaand Raat), and Eid. With lush illustrations that evoke Islamic art, this beautiful story offers a peek into modern Muslim culture—and into the ancient roots of its most cherished traditions.

Author: Hena Khan

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review: The illustrations are artsy and the story is evocative. Night of the Moon portrays the love relationship between a mother and her daughter during Ramadan. The reader will also learn to marvel at the beauties of the Creation.

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

Ready for Ramadan 2019 : A Countdown and Review of Some Ramadan Books – II

Assalamu aleikum!

ramadan moon lailahs lunch box

Welcome to another #readyforramadan2019 edition. Today, we have two books for you. Check them out!

Ramadan Moon

Summary: Ramadan, the month of fasting, doesn’t begin all at once. It begins with a whisper And a prayer And a wish. Muslims all over the world celebrate Ramadan and the joyful days of Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of the month of fasting as the most special time of year. This lyrical and inspiring picture book captures the wonder and joy of this great annual event, from the perspective of a child. Accompanied by Iranian inspired illustrations, the story follows the waxing of the moon from the first new crescent to full moon and waning until Eid is heralded by the first sighting of the second new moon. Written and illustrated by Muslims, this is a book for all children who celebrate Ramadan and those in the wider communities who want to understand why this is such a special experience for Muslims.

Author: Na’ima B. Robert

Publisher: Lincoln Children’s Books

Review: Ramadan Moon is beautifully illustrated. The quality of the book is also exceptional. It portrays Ramadan well for a Muslim family and depicts lots of love and gratitude all around. Alhamdullilah.

Rating: 5/5

lailas lunchbox

Summary: Lailah is in a new school in a new country, thousands of miles from her old home, and missing her old friends. When Ramadan begins, she is excited that she is finally old enough to participate in the fasting but worried that her classmates won’t understand why she doesn’t join them in the lunchroom. Lailah solves her problem with help from the school librarian and her teacher and in doing so learns that she can make new friends who respect her beliefs.

Author: Reem Faruqi

Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers

Review: Lailah’s Lunchbox explores the challenge of feeling like an outsider with wit. Lailah is lovable and finds comfort in writing to express herself. Today, many people are more aware of other people’s faiths. However, the book is still relevant because there will always be that one person who has no idea what Ramadan is. So this book can help explain. Alhamdullilah.

Rating: 5/5

 

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~