Book Reviews Take Over Blog in 2013

I recently became a grandmother, so of course I have even more of an excuse to buy picture books than I had before.  Looking over my rather vast collection it occurred to me that I already own some lovely books other people may not have even heard about. So, I’m going to be using this space to write book reviews of those and other children’s books that may not be so well-known. I promise I will try to keep politics out of here. Note the word “try.” Sometimes I simply can’t help myself.

I made this decision in December and even though I tried to write a book review a month ago, Christmas and family took over my time.  So, for this first entry I am posting a lovely review by a guest reviewer. Kathy White says: “We lived in a Muslim country for 1 1/2 years, and still are learning about their faith.” She is also “a book-loving Grandma who wants to see all the good kid’s books coming along.  All of my work with kids over the years has been as a volunteer, including doing a preschool story hour in a public library in Appleton with a flannel board.  Does anyone even know what a flannel board is?”

Kathy White is a member of Madison Friends Meeting and spent one and a half years living in Saudi Arabia.

Muslem Child

Muslim Child, Understanding Islam Through Stories and Poems.   Written by Rukhsana Khan, Illustrated by Patty Gallinger, Sidebars by Irfan Alli.  Napoleon & Co.  Toronto, Canada, 1999; Albert Whitman, IL, 2002 

This is a beautiful book for school age children and their families to share.  Each chapter of this book is a story about one of the five pillars of Islam and the impact their faith has on the various details of daily life for these children.   I like using a story to help explain how things like not eating any pork products {one of the details which do impact their lives – think gelatin, for example} are sometimes very difficult to follow carefully.

Another nice feature about this introduction to Islam is that each story is placed in a different country, so one begins to realize that Islam is a faith in many parts of the world.  The sidebar details give the information that only 20 % of Muslims are Arab.  I think sharing this book, Muslim Child, will help change some of our assumptions about people who live according to Islam and help us draw nearer to them in understanding and compassion.

Guest Reviewer, Kathy White

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