Book Review: My Ramadan Dua' Book

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It’s been a while since we have had a book review! Here’s one to change that 

When i was asked if i would like to review this one, I grabbed the opportunity as a) I love anything to do with books and b) I know so many people would love and benefit from this one!

My Ramadan Dua’ Book is the second book by Desi Doll Company creator, Farzana Rahman (the first one is Don’t Forget to Say Bismillah). What is unique about these books – especially in the Muslim market – is the incorporation of sound, which makes it great for reaching the different learning styles that children may have.

So what’s the story line? Well… it’s Ramadan, and Fatima and Ali are excited to be fasting for the first time ever. In the book, kids can follow their journey through the holy month. Fatima and Ali go through all the normal stuff kids do, such as take out their water bottle to take a sip before realising they are fasting, and having their mum insist they take a nap . They have incorporated lots of beautiful themes eof Ramadan into the story, such as sharing the iftar with non-Muslim friends, collecting items for the food bank, and paying special attention to Laylatul Qadr.

At different points, children can make the links between the story and the buttons on the right and enjoy pressing and hearing the different clips – from the dua’ for beginning the fast to the dua’ for the new moon at the end, as well as some just for fun! (Mmmm…. brownies!)

It’s a great way to introduce or consolidate the learning of these duas, and they can be heard in Arabic or the English meaning. They are recited by children, and so will be relatable to the young ones reading the book! Desi Doll Company have even thought ahead and included the (replacable) batteries so they can start reading and listening from the get go 

There are few great extras in the book such as the Eid Takbir which is written out, how to say Happy Eid in different languages and a yummy Brownies recipe at the end!

The best part is that in tthe spirit of Ramadan, Desi Doll Company have partnered with PennyAppeal and £2.50 of every book sold will go to Orphan Kind, so this is a book that gives in many ways!

Ideal for children up to 8 years I would say, but even older ones will enjoy having a quick read! Younger ones will love being read to as they press on the buttons when prompted (or just whenever ).

Check it out here: https://desidollcompany.com/produ…/ramadan-story-sound-book/

 

Book Review: Raising Children - Tahera Kassamali

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Have you seen this gem of a book? Packed with Islamic wisdom and sound advice on raising our children 🙂

“The duty of every parent is to train the child in the right way. Training means teaching and guiding. Training also means producing required changes in a person. It is not enough for parents to cater for the physical needs of the child. They need to give the child an awareness and knowledge, help him gain good characteristics, and develop a virtuous personality. Such training of children has great benefits for the child as well as for the society in which he lives. Although many people have an influence on the training of a child, the first and most important trainers are the parents.

The guidance that a parent gives his child is vital for the progress of the child. Although the child may not appreciate it at the time, a loving parent knows that it is incumbent upon him to make his child learn from his own knowledge and experience. This enables the child to avoid the mistakes the parent may have made, and benefit from his wisdom. Imam ‘Ali (a) wrote a will to his son Imam Hasan (a), advising him on how to live in this world. In the will he explains why he felt it necessary to advise his son:

I found you a part of myself, rather I found you my whole, so much that if anything befell you, it was as though it befell me, and if death came to you, it was as though it came to me. Consequently your affairs meant to me as my own matters would mean to me. So I have written this piece of advice as an instrument of help . . .

Certainly, the heart of a young man is like uncultivated land. It accepts whatever is strewn on it. So I hastened to mould you properly before your heart hardens up and your mind gets occupied. So that you may be ready to accept through your intelligence, the results of experiences of others and be saved from going through these experiences yourself.
Nahjul Balagha, Letter 31″

Read the book at: http://www.al-islam.org/raising-children-tahera-kassamali

Book Review: Princess Siyana's Pen

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I had promised a review on Princess Siyana’s Pen a while back – here it is!

Great for Eid gifts perhaps?! 😉

“This recently published picture book is a keeper! With beautiful colour-rich illustrations and a gripping story line to boot, it is sure to captivate young and old readers alike – I know I certainly wanted to know what happened. 🙂

The story follows the tried and tested formula of many fairy tales, and so in essence will be familiar to children – however, there are morals and values infused within every page, adding that oh-so-special Islamic essence. Princes Siyana is a captivating main character, who charms as well as leads through example and character; her bravery and courage makes her a great role-model for all our children, but our daughters in particular. Shargor is the typical evil villain, with a plot to gain power and riches, impoverishing others as he does. And I love the touch of the side-kick, Pepe the parrot, who adds light humour to it all! It is clear that Zainab has drawn on her own experiences to write this story, which makes it all the more personal and endearing.

As the story progresses, several concepts are touched upon in a subtle way – talking to Allah through the heart as well as the pen, hijab and the importance of inner beauty, trusting in Allah, kindness, helping others and forgiveness, amongst others. All in all, with these concepts weaved in to an adventure story with remarkable characters, Princess Siyana makes an ideal book for our children’s bookshelves.”

Book Review: House of Ibn Kathir

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Boarding school stories grip young readers in a unique sort of way – with the majority of children not going to boarding schools, it provides an insight into a totally different world; indeed, some of the greatest series have been based in boarding schools, Harry Potter, The Worst Witch and Malory Towers to name a few!

Alhamdulillah Muslims ventured into this world through Khadija Academy (See: http://www.bibipublishing.co.uk/Zahra-s-First-Term.html), and now here is one based on a boarding school for boys!

“It’s Yusif’s first time away from home. The Dar Al Ilm Academt seemed to be the ideal place for him to pursue his studies and achieve one of his lifelong ambitions – to memorise the Qur’an, or so his parents had decided…

However, just when he thought he was settling in, Yusif finds himself with more on his hands than he had bargained for. When mysterious events start happening around the school, it begins to seem as if Dar Al Ilm has more in store for him than he had ever imagined.”

My 9 year old loved this book and devoured it in a few hours – we look forward to the sequel!

Book Review: My Dad's Beard

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I LOVED this book:)

My Dad’s Beard by Zanib Mian – Sweet Apple Publishers – is everything you would want from a picture book, and more.

The illustrations (by Lauran Ewing) are clear and strong, and will appeal to young ones straight away. The text on each page changes format – sometimes it is as if straight from a computer screen, other times formed as if magnets on a fridge!

The book focusses on the dad’s beard, and why it is so cool – because you can pretend a teeny cat can live in it of course! But for me, the best part was the end, where it talks about the dad saying he is copying the greatest man that ever lives by having a beard 🙂

This subtle point is bound to have the children asking about who that is, which can lead into a wonderful discussion about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)! A great way to both teach, and entertain – am sure this will be a bedtime favourite.

Book Review: A School Girl's Hero

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This is the story of a school girl who has to write an essay about her hero – any guesses for who she chooses?!

“For a couple of days the same question continued puzzling Anum; “Who do I aspire to be like?” Then, whilst she was busy helping her mum with chores it suddenly came to her. It now seemed so obvious, and she couldn’t believe it hadn’t come to her earlier. She told her family about her idea and they were all really impressed. but Anum then began having second thoughts…”

A wonderful read aloud with younger children, or for the older ones to devour on their own!

Book Review: I Can Series

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This series is one of the first high quality Islamic children’s books that I came across when looking for good books for my children!
Board back, it is long lasting and durable. The illustrations are bold, bright and cheerful – and the wordings and concepts are simple and meaningful!
There are 6 books in the series, and each show young Muslim girls and boys practising different aspects of their faith in a wide range of places.

Here’s an excerpt from “I Can Eat Anything Anywhere”:

Bismillah! I can eat anything
halal and pure anywhere!
How blessed we are with the food
Allah has provided us everywhere!
I hope your children love them as much as mine did!

The series include:

I Can Make Dua’ Anywhere!
I Can Pray Anywhere!
I Can Read the Qur’an Anywhere!
I Can Say Bismillah Anywhere!
I Can Wear Hijab Anywhere!
I Can Eat Anything Anywhere!

Book review: Isa the Incredible climbs Mount Mushkil

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As we are between series, I thought we should do a few more book reviews!

I just received this book and I LOVE it!! Here is the blurb:

“LIttle Isa the Ant loves the playground. But he’s too scared to climb the playground’s great big hill, Mount Mushkil! No matter how hard he tries, he can’t follow his brothers and sisters to the top. This makes him sad. When the mean ants from school laugh at him, he feels worse. Then a wise old any teaches Isa the secret of climbing Mount Mushkil. But can Isa believe hard enough to make it to the top? Will the secret really help Isa?”

This story is inspired by the bravery of Ali ibn Abu Talib, and is one that will actually resonate with both young and old. It was a great reminder to me to use the ‘secret’ in my own life when faced with any trouble, and I will definitely by trying to implement it as well as helping my children learn it too!

I won’t spoil the essence of the book by revealing the ‘secret’, but do check it out! The images are bold and clear, perfect for little ones. And Isa the Ant’s dilemma is one that will have been faced by many children, if not all at some point in their lives.

Check the Twelver Kids website out for an interactive playground and more: http://www.twelverkids.com/
Also available from Taqwa Media: http://www.taqwamedia.com/shop/index.php/taqwa-kids/isa-the-incredible-climbs-mount-mushkil.html

Book Review 4: Ilyas and Duck Search for Allah

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This lovely picture book introduces a tricky concept to children in a simple way.

“Ilyas is a 5-year-old boy with an insatiable appetite for questioning the world around him. Duck is fun-loving and playful yet helps to satisfy Ilyas’s curiosity about the world. In this story, Ilyas wakes up one morning and wants to find Allah! Join these two best friends on an exciting adventure to find Allah and see what they discover. This book will most certainly help both parents and children answer this profound question in a fun and loving way. (Age 3-8 years)”

It is great for classrooms and circle times too – this was one of the books that were read out during Story Time at the recent Children’s Islamic Library event and led to a lot of interaction with the children too!

http://www.taqwamedia.com/shop/uk/index.php/all-products/ilyas-and-duck-search-for-allah.html

https://www.facebook.com/Taqwamedia

Book Review 3: Tales from Dhikarville

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We all love the Mr Men Series, right? Well, here’s the Islamic version!

These books are very similar in style and size, but the people in Dhikarville are all based on Islamic concepts from Salaam to Shukr! And there are two series… Brother and Little Sister – check out the photos for more info. Just FYI – not all of them are available yet.

P.S. They do merchandise too! Check out their FB page for more info –https://www.facebook.com/TalesFromDhikarville

The first of the series is Brother Salaam: “Take a tour of Dhikarville with Brother Salaam as he introduces all the Brothers to you, whilst teaching you about the importance of saying salaam along the way!”

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