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

The Blessed Bananas – A Review

Bismillah,

Blessed Bananas Front Cover

Synopsis: Everyone in the village knows not to come near the cranky, old monkey Rico or his precious bananas. However, after some unwanted encounters, Rico learns a life-changing lesson. Find out how in this heart-warming tale of friendship, kindness and the power of prayer.

Age Range: 4 to 6 years old

Author: Tayyaba Syed is an award-winning author and freelance journalist. Her work
has been featured in numerous publications including NPR, Islamic Horizons, Azizah Magazine, Chicago Crescent, Halal Consumer and Chicago Parent. She also co-authored four chapter books in the popular kids’ series Jannah Jewels. Tayyaba works as the Research Specialist for Daybreak Press and a Curriculum Consultant for Whitestone Foundation’s Author Development Program. She also designs unique plots for Noor Kids educational books as their Creative Developer. You can read more about her at her website.

Illustrator : Melani Putri is an illustrator based in Jakarta, Indonesia. After finishing her visual art education at Bandung Institute of Technology, she has been focusing on children’s book illustration and has won the National Folktale Illustration award in 2016. Her illustration works include children’s books, greeting cards, posters and stationery.
Please visit her website at www.memels.com.

Publisher: Prolance

Thoughts: The Blessed Bananas is a one of a kind Muslim fable with 50 pages. Like all fables, it teaches a morale. If you have a child who doesn’t like sharing, this is perhaps a book you should have because it teaches one to share. The illustrations are also bright and beautiful masha’Allah.

My only criticisms are that I found the book a bit preachy and over the required number of pages for a traditionally published children’s book.

blessed bananas 2

You can order you at https://www.tayyabasyed.com/bookstore.

~I received a free copy for the purpose of this review.~

Thank you for reading,

~A Ducktrinor Mom~

Mommy Who Is Allah? Al-Khaliq (The Creator) – A Review

Bismillah,

MWIA9

Age Range:  3+

Series: Mommy Who Is Allah?

Author: Susan Jones was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1969. She grew up in Houston, Texas, and converted to Islam in 1999. She studied the religion in Dubai, UAE, where she opened a bookstore, providing Islamic material in English. Jones is also an ESL instructor and taught English in the UAE and in KSA for almost 15 years. She enjoys writing poetry and informative Interfaith essays. “Mommy, Who Is Allah?” is her first children’s book series and Al-Khaliq (The Creator) is the first book in the series of 6 other books that are intended to inspire love and appreciation for Allah, The Creator.

Illustrator : Vicky Amrullah (He is a guy by the way 😉 )

Publisher: Djarabi Kitabs Publishing

Price : $4.99 for the eBook and $12.99 for the paperback available on Amazon and other outlets

Summary: Book 1 of the “Mommy, Who Is Allah?” series focuses on the attribute of Allah, Al-Khaliq; The Creator. Throughout the story, children will learn that Allah has created all that exists.

Thoughts: AbdulRahman also known as Dahumie is a very sweet and curious boy. He is more attentive than he used to be and that’s normal. In Al-Khaliq (The Creator), Dahumie indulges in his mother’s teachings about Allah. To make it fun and grab more of his attention, Mommy uses imaginary finger cymbals (instruments) to snap her fingers and introduce the creations of Allah; especially the stars.

finger cymbals 1

Al-Khaliq (The Creator) is a very fun, sweet, and loving book we can use to each one of the attribute of Allah to our young mumeens. Knowing this name of Allah has many rewards masha’Allah, and it’s wonderful that the Author started with this particular attribute to help with the education of young Muslims.

I recommend it to Muslim Moms without any bias ;).

Jazakh’Allah khair for reading,

~A Ducktrinor Mom~

 

Picture credit : Google