Mel: And His Trouble With One Thousand Shoes — A Review

Assalamu aleikum!

mel 1

Summary: “And do not walk on the earth proudly…”  Quran 17 : 37 

Mel the millipede collected one thousand shoes. They were his prized jewels. He wore them and walked around with his head held high. He looked proud and arrogant as he passed by. The other bugs warned him of his obsession. Snail told him that humbleness is more important than fashion. When Mel was in trouble trying to save his shoes from a flood, Moth flew to his rescue and they became buds. Mel learned to appreciate friends more than elegance. And that being grateful is better than arrogance.

Author: Somayeh Zomorodi was born in Iran and spent most of her childhood in her grandfather’s garden among colorful flowers and trees. Adventure games and the world of imagination gave her a happy childhood. She was later inspired by that and wanted to share this childish pleasure to not only her lovely three children but all the children of the world. She has a bachelor`s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in Translation studies and is teaching and doing research in the field of children’s literature. She wishes for all children to have happy and safe childhoods. She dreams to create big smiles on their faces and wisdom through her stories and poems.
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Illustrator: N.Broomand
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Review: It’s so easy for confidence to spill into arrogance. As we all know, arrogance only belongs to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. So, to this end, Mel: And His Trouble With One Thousand Shoes is to help us remember golden Islamic maxims and about remaining humble in the face of having a lot of blessings for our success is only by Allah. While we may want others to be happy for us at times when we reach certain milestones, that can also border on showing off.
Overall, Mel: And His Trouble With One Thousand Shoes is a colorful tale that is wonderfully illustrated with a great lesson. Adults and children can all learn from this tale as accumulating unnecessary worldly gains can weigh a person down.
Sneak peak…
mel 2
Rating: 5/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

The Most Precious Gift — A Review

Precious Gift Launch Poster

Summary : Join Ziyad as he learns ten benefits from the most precious gift from God…prayer. While all the animals in the jungle are busy preparing for a party, Ziyad asks each one of them what prayer does for them. They mention calmness, togetherness, and hope just to name a few. Before the party starts, Ziyad and his friends and family gather for Maghreb prayer, reminding each one that even though their party awaits, it is so important to reap the benefits of their daily prayers.

Author : Yasmine Abuzeid

Illustrator : Melani Putri

Publisher: Prolance

Review and thoughts : The Most Precious Gift is a very creative children’s book that introduces salat and dhikr to Muslim children. It also teaches them that prayer is the most precious gift from Allah that they need to value because it will always be a source of comfort, a shield, and a safe haven for them. See slides below for more details.

sneak peak 3 precious gift

Finally, it also gives them the name of the benefits of prayer in Arabic in the illustrations as well. For instance, silah for connection and saeda for happiness. That is very smart masha’Allah.

Find it on the publisher’s site here or on Amazon here.

Rating : 4/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

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 ~

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 ~

 

 

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 ~

 

Two Cute Books by Prolance You Need To Have!

Assalamu aleikum!

I have had the chance to read two children’s books recently published by Muslim Book Publisher Prolance, and I’m happy to share my honest thoughts with you. So here we go.

1. Friends of a Different Kind by Nayera Salam

Friends Launch Poster

Age Range: 3+

Author: Nayera Salam

Illustrator: Jenny Reynish

Publisher: Prolance

Summary: Chocolate Chum is the luckiest dog in the neighborhood! He not only has many doggy friends but he has many pals of a different kind. Frogs, gnomes, cats and more. Meet them all in this story that teaches kids about inclusivity and diversity. From beginning to end, children and adults will be intrigued by the book’s message, the enchanting creatures, and the vivid imagery. Plus fun activities! Visit http://www.kidsbooksbynayera.com. Read-aloud version available.

Thoughts: I really loved Friends of a Different Kind; from the painting style to the rhymes, it was simply a delight to read. This book will teach children to embrace those who are different from them. The book effortlessly achieves this purpose by showing the reader that the characters are animals and/or interesting creatures which have distinctive features.

If we don’t teach children how things around us are different and that’s the beauty of things, we do them a great disservice. The danger of thinking that a specific kind of anything is the standard needs to be resisted. Well done.

Rating: 5/5

 

2. Paradise is oh So Nice by Halimah Bashir

Paradise Launch Poster

 

Age Range: 3+

Author: Halimah Bashir

Illustrator: Laila Ramadhani Ritonga

Publisher: Prolance

Summary: Ever wonder what Paradise looks like in the eyes of a child? Giant milkshakes, chocolate castles and ice cream mountains are some of the things Manu and Aya can’t wait to experience. Come along on this adventurous journey where brother and sister’s imagination comes to life and whatever they wish for or desire will come true!

Thoughts: Paradise is oh So Nice is a beautifully illustrated book with vivid colors. The book has two versions; a regular one where Allah is mentioned as “God” and an Islamic version where Allah is mentioned as ” الله .”

This is a nice option in case you want to gift the book as a dawah effort. I also loved this book because it aims at raising young mumeens in a fun context and stretches their imagination.

What else can a Muslim mom like me who wants to raise a young Believer ask for? Hehe…

Rating: 5/5

Check out a sneak peek into the book below:

sneak peek paradise

I received free e-Versions in return for my honest thoughts.

Thank you for reading,

~A Ducktrinor Mom~

Reading Journal by Shoohada Khanom – A Review

READING JOURNAL 1

Summary: An easy-to-use journal to keep track of reading. With 115 pages to make note of books being read, there’s space to write the date, title, author, number of pages, and new words. 5 bonus pages are featured at the back to write a list of books to read. Suitable for all ages.

About the Author’s Name: Shoohada Khanom was born and raised in London. She is a writer and a children’s books author Shoohada Khanom who has authored and traditionally published four children’s pictures books. Today a mother of six, Shoohada lives a busy life, splitting her days between home educating her children and her motherly responsibilities. She shares her home in Bolton with her family, and anytime she has a moment to herself, she reads and writes. Visit her website.

Illustrator’s Name: Reyhana Ismail is a graphic designer specializing in book and magazine design, including children’s book illustration. She has been designing since 2001, working both freelance and as an employee and consultant for various companies.  Using high quality, beautiful imagery as her foundation, Reyhana’s minimal style reflects her belief that when it comes to design, less is more. She is also a firm believer that if you love what you do, it will reflect in your work – and in this regard she is one of those rare people who has successfully combined her career and passion. Visit her website.

Review: I have always wanted a neat reading journal a little more private than Goodreads and receiving one from Shoohada Khanom to review was just perfect. It’s very creative and cute. I love the cover too; especially the two girls at the bottom, masha’Allah. While my son sat on my lap to take advantage of his allotted screen time, I filled the journal with children’s books on hand that we read alhamdullilah. I’m not sure if I filled it the right way but this works for us for now.

reading journal 3 1

My son suggested that we color the stacks of books; I’m still entertaining the idea of letting him pilot this reading journal alone *haha!* I can’t blame him; we are color-maniacs around here.

Anyway, if you run out of pages, you can select from many other designs with the same contents that the author also has in her repertoire. See below.

black reading journal

set of three reading journal

white cover reading journal

I plan to get the one below for myself insha’Allah. It’s befitting.

reading journal for fofkys

Merci to Shoohada Khanom from sending us a reading journal for our homeschooling activities purposes all the way from the UK!

reading journal with pumpkin latte and chocolate

Reading Journal with Over-Caffeinated Pumpkin Spice Latte and Chocolates

To close, check out these journals and Khanom’s other works on Amazon here. They are a must-have. I almost never log the books we read. This will definitely help us keep track. Who knows? Perhaps, we will know if we read thousands of books before the normal age for kindergarten like one of my friend bi’ithnillah. *winks*

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom aka The Unicorn-Alien Mommy ~

peace out alien

The Ducktrinors I & II – A Review by The Tsundoku Chronicles

The ducktrinors neelam.png

“I really enjoyed this book. It was so nice to see Muslim characters and I love that more books are coming out with Muslim rep. When I first heard of the book I was really intrigued as it was a science fiction book and I don’t really see that in Islamic fiction.
I enjoyed reading this from the first page. I really liked how brave and courageous that Hanifa was as she lived in a world where any small indication that you practice and religious activity is punishable by death. So no one can pray, fast or anything else that shows you practice a faith. It’s a world where technological advancement is the most important thing. She eventually becomes the leader of a rebellion in which people seek the freedom to practice their religion and she goes in search of the people of cave.
She also gains the support of her siblings and grandfather. I also liked her brother Malik who also plays a main role. We see everything happening from both their point of views.
I loved how the history of the world is shown to us with memories and flashbacks. The plot is great and kept me interested throughout and i loved the build up. It’s definitely worth reading especially for teenagers and young adults.”— The Tsundoku Chronicles

Rating: 4/5

the ducktrinors rrathon