Bilal Cooks Daal — A Review

Bilal Cooks Daal

Summary : Six-year-old Bilal introduces his friends to his favorite dish—daal!—in this charming picture book that showcases the value of patience, teamwork, community, and sharing.

Six-year-old Bilal is excited to help his dad make his favorite food of all-time: daal! The slow-cooked lentil dish from South Asia requires lots of ingredients and a whole lot of waiting. Bilal wants to introduce his friends to daal. They’ve never tried it! As the day goes on, the daal continues to simmer, and more kids join Bilal and his family, waiting to try the tasty dish. And as time passes, Bilal begins to wonder: Will his friends like it as much as he does?

This debut picture book by Aisha Saeed, with charming illustrations by Anoosha Syed, uses food as a means of bringing a community together to share in each other’s family traditions.

Author : Aisha Saeed

Illustrator : Anoosha Syed

Publisher: Salaam Reads

Review and thoughts : Bilal Cooks Daal is the third book by the author that I have read where the name Bilal occurs alhamdullilah. She must certainly like the name masha’Allah alhamdullilah. I like that this time it didn’t come unintentionally mis-constructed to me like it did in the first two instances.

Overall, Bilal Cooks Daal is rhythmic, and it teaches children to be patient. It also teaches them colors, smell, taste, and mathematics. This is wonderful all around. The illustrations are also well done. We didn’t find any issue in the book, too. Alhamdullilah.

Find it on Amazon here.

Rating : 5/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

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 Review

uycd festive

Authors: 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.

Summary: By understanding your child’s development you can help to nurture your child’s growth in the six areas of development: thinking and intellect, speech and language, motor skills, physical growth, emotional, and moral development.This is a practical book for the Muslim parent, full of activities to nurture each area of growth. Know what to do, when and how.

Review: I always knew by instinct not to rush my child into achieving milestones because the sunnah says that until the child is seven years old, it’s all about playing with the child. Not only did people around me (Pediatrician included) made me feel at times like an unfit mother, they didn’t hide it. What did I do? I prayed on it, and I tuned them out because there was a little voice inside me that kept telling me to just persevere and be patient with my child’s development. And I did, and he got there when he was ready and on his own chef. It hasn’t been easy. I mean how could they dismiss the fact that each child learns and grows at their own pace. It simply baffled me.

Anyway, I nurtured my son’s growth and development by reading any parenting books I could get my hands on, and they supported my decision to let children be children. However, when I came across Understand Your Child’s Development or UYCD, I felt complete and happy at last. This book covers the child’s life cycle to the teenage years; which is a plus alhamdullilah. With in-depth, concrete Islamic and scientific evidences, the book felt like a dream come true.

So in these lights, UYCD is an amazing resource and a must-have for every Muslim parent. May Allah always help us raise great citizens, vicegerents of this earth and above all, great Muslims, aameen.

Get it on Amazon here. And read the press release here.

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

 

The Candle and The Flame — An Interview with the Author

Between Sisters, SVP!

Nafiza the candle and the flame

Nafiza Azad is an avid reader and reviewer of YA books. Today she is at our bookstore to discuss her debut YA high fantasy novel The Candle and the Flame. To give you a little background on this book, please read the summary below.

Azad’s debut YA fantasy is set in a city along the Silk Road that is a refuge for those of all faiths, where a young woman is threatened by the war between two clans of powerful djinn.

Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population — except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is…

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