Observed by Muslims all over the world, the Islamic holy month of prayer and fasting, known as Ramadan, started this year on August 11th in North America and will culminate on Eid, a three day celebration that marks the end of the period of fasting.
Here are some children’s books about Ramadan that have been featured on PaperTigers:
A Party in Ramadan, by Asma Mobin-Uddin, illustrated by Laura Jacobsen (Boyds Mills Press)
Leena, a young girl who is fasting “part time” for the first time (children are not expected to fast every day of Ramadan until they have passed puberty), is disappointed when she finds out that her best friend’s party will be held on the afternoon of the day she had chosen to fast. How she deals with her conflicted feelings makes for a very gentle story about faith and friendship. This is “a picture book that can help bridge divides and reassure children of any faith who sometimes have to make the choice between fitting in and following their hearts.”
Many Windows: Six Kids, Five Faiths, One Community, by Rukhsana Khan, with Uma Krishnaswami and Elisa Carbone (Napoleon & Company)
Many Windows is a book of stories about six children of different faiths sharing one community. In the story about Ramadan, a young boy is suspicious of his uncle, who is visiting from Pakistan to celebrate it with his family. The book includes an information section on the religious celebrations and, through its interlinked stories, “shows a community whose members respect and value one another—a gentle and crucial message our youth would benefit from finding in other contemporary stories.”
Moon Watchers: Shirin’s Ramadan Miracle, written by Reza Jalali and illustrated by Anne Sibley O’Brien, recently published by Tilbury House, is the story of a nine year-old girl who is too young to fast like her older brother and how she comes to understand that there’s more to Ramadan than just fasting. We will be reviewing the book ourselves soon, but in the meantime, here’s a lovely review from ForeWord magazine.
For more books for children and teens about Ramadan, I suggest you head over to UmmahReads, where you will find great reading lists divided by age group.