Welcome to my latest blog post which is all about brilliant books related to the blessed month of Ramadan and the festival Eid . Muslims around the world will begin Ramadan in a few days time as Ramadan is due to commence early May for 2019.
I’m gathering together all our picture books on the blessed month. I don’t box away any of these books once Ramadan and Eid is over as I like my girls to be able to read them whenever they wish to. However, during Ramadan I like to have an area in the house which is dedicated to Ramadan reading and activities for my little ladies.
Sweet Dates to Eat by Jonny Zucker and Jan Barger
This lovely short story is an ideal book for toddlers and young readers. The story is based around a little girl and her family who gives you little insights into Ramadan. The illustrations by Jan Barger are gentle and sweet and many of the pages include the little girl holding her teddy bear making it more relatable to little ones.
The characters drawn through out the book are not of South East Asian descent which is a positive step towards children appreciating that individuals of a particular religion do not all look a certain way. At the end of the book Jonny Zucker has included further information about Ramadan and Eid.
Ramadan by Hannah Eliot and illustrated by Rashin
A board book. This is great book for 2 years old and up all about the blessed month and simply explaining things. I love how it uses Arabic words within its text but it is added in an inclusive way so that everyone understands. The illustrations are colourful and the explanations given are a great introductory text about Ramadan. This would be great in early learning settings, explaining why Muslims all around the world fast and sharing different aspects of the blessed month.
My First Ramadan by Karen Katz.
I bought this book in 2017 year as it was my youngest daughters first Ramadan. Those are her little 7 month old hands in the photo. This book is a great introduction to Ramadan. We particularly like the cute, colourful, patterned collage illustrations.
The story is based around a young boy who wants to try and fast like the grown ups around him. Karen Katz makes every effort to represent diversity in this book. The main characters are not stereotyped and when the family celebrate Eid she makes reference to all the Muslims the little boy sees, all from different countries and cultures. This is a brilliant inclusive read.
It’s Ramadan, Curious George by Rey, A.H.
A sturdy, informative board book which is great for toddlers and up. Should they be fans of Curious George then they will love this book even more. The tabs on the side make this a great read for young hands to explore easily. The text is informative and the varied layout on each double page makes this an engaging read.
George is indeed a rather curious and embracing friend who supports Kareem on his first fast and joins in on other occasions including Eid festivities.
Hassan and Aneesa Love Ramadan by Yasmeen Rahim and Omar Burgess.
We absolutely love this book. Siblings Hassan and Aneesa are very excited as it is the start of Ramadan. Yasmeen Rahim captures realistic conversations the children have inquiring about Ramadan, charity, food and how it feels to fast.
This toddler friendly book celebrates Ramadan and highlights Aneesa and Hassan’s enthusiasm for the blessed month and the willingness to give fasting a try. Yasmeen Rahim is realistic in her approach of writing and illustrations by Omar Burgess are also representative of this. The book oozes positivity and I’m pleased its part of our library.
Rashad’s Ramadan and Eid al Fitr by Lisa Bullard and Holli Conger.
This book is fantastic and has been read so many times in our home. This would make a brilliant book to share in a learning setting as it is suited to many ages, combining a story with facts on many of the pages.
The book shows how Rashad’s family observe Ramadan identifying the importance of prayer and thinking of others. My eldest, Little One really enjoys this book. I bought this when she was 1 years old (now 3) and I love how as she grows her questions and thoughts mature reading this book. If you are wanting to know more about Ramadan or introduce others to more information I would really recommend this book. It is a great read for toddlers and upwards and the fact boxes are brilliant for more mature readers.
Ramadan Moon by Na’ima B Robert and Shirin Adl.
A popular picture book on Ramadan, this is a brilliant book that reads so well making it a great read to share and read aloud. This is a moving story that follows a girl and her family during the month of Ramadan, from one new moon to the next.
Na’ima Robert explores the beauty in the blessed month exploring different things including visits to the mosque, prayers, meal times and how it feels whilst fasting. Complete with appealing illustrations this is a captivating read.
The Gift of Ramadan
Fasting isn’t compulsory for younger children but you are expected to fast once you are an adolescent. Often young children may want to fast as all their family are and also because they understand how important it is. The main character in this book is a young girl who too wants to fast. Her grandma explains that when one fasts their heart sparkles. Sophia adores sparkles and she too wants a sparkly heart. She attempts to fast but things don’t go according to plan. She is left disappointed and deflated but her wonderful grandma explains that there are other ways your heart can sparkle during Ramadan. Things like helping others and giving to charity. This wonderful newly released book is based around a story that I’m sure many will be able to relate to and Sophia makes a fantastic main character.
Night of The Moon by Hena Khan and Julie Paschkis.
Originally published ten years ago and now available in paperback this is a brilliant read about Ramadan by the talented Hena Khan. A more wordy stories then others I have shared, where the conversations and emotions expressed in this book are so realistic. Yasmeen is an inquisitive young girl who is excited for Ramadan to commence. She is proud of her faith and when Ramadan is discussed at her school she is delighted to share her knowledge with her peers.
The book explores precious conversations Yasmeen has with her family and gives an insight in to what she does during the month of Ramadan. The illustrations are unique and are sure to encourage lots of questions in both style and colours used and may well inspire some mosaic projects. This is such a heartwarming read complete with an authors note at the end of the book and a glossary.
Lailah’s Lunchbox by Reem Faruqi and Lea Lyon.
Reem Faruqi tells the story of a young girl, Lailah, who is intending to complete Ramadan for the first time. Things are a little different though has she has moved to America from Aby Dhabi, where the majority of people would have been fasting.
This story is a lovely Ramadan story but it is more then that. It is also a story about a child’s emotions who as excited as she is going to school without lunch, she begins to worry how everyone at school will react to her not eating.
Reem Farqui, writing from personal experience, promotes much discussion and identifies that its good to talk about why we are unique whether that be religion, family, the country in which we live, it should be celebrated. Laila was surrounded by lovely supportive people and she needn’t have worried but that is how she was feeling.
Letter writing really helps Laila in the end. This is a fabulous story that I feel school aged children will be able to appreciate more.
Ramadan Around the World by Ndaa Hassan and Azra Momin.
Being active across social media I often come across great book recommendations. Doesn’t this book look amazing!? Well it is absolutely brilliant. This book embraces so much diversity within its read. It mentions 13 different destinations and shares traditions from that country using a double page spread for each. Traditions such as decorating the streets and having a drummer boy wake everyone up to eat for the fast are explained in this read. The book would be a brilliant addition to any library and highlights that though people may share a faith, their culture and traditions may differ.
Eid by Maria MiGo
This is a lovely read all about how one Muslim family celebrates Eid. With its gentle illustrations and toddler friendly text, this is a great read for children 2 years and up. You can see a full review of this book here.
Hassan and Aneesa Celebrate Eid by Yasmeen Rahim and Omar Burgess.
Yasmeen Rahim has again written a great book for young ones embracing the festival of Eid. The illustrations are fun and I am particularly fond of this double page which represents people of all ages and generations and is so true.
Young readers are able to meet Hassan and Aneesa again preparing for Eid and getting a really lobely insight in what they do on the day of Eid. This would be a great story shared in a learning setting as ultimately it represents that Eid is a celebration and just like other celebrations family, food and reflection are at the core.
You may also enjoy reading the following books during Ramadan including Muslim characters which I’ve previously blogged about. Click on the title of the book to read the blog post.
My Grandma and Me is a fantastic autobiographical story and the illustrations throughout are warm and beautiful. References to Ramadan are made in the story.
A selection of picture books on Ramadan and Eid that I hope you’ve found useful.
Disclaimer: Majority of the books shared are from our personal library or sent to us from publishers. All words and opinions are entirely my own.