Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Themed Reviews: Ramadan

Ramadan, the Holy Month for Muslims, is celebrated around the world. This year Ramadan begins on August 11 and goes until September 9th. It is a period of prayers, fasting, and charity. There is also a strong emphasis on family.

A major part of Ramadan, fasting from sunrise to sundown, can be difficult for children to do or understand. Generally, Muslim children begin to fast for short periods as early as four or five, then fast for the full time around the age of twelve.

More than ever children of all ages are being exposed to world cultures and religions. The selection of books featured below are a fun way to encourage learning, awareness and tolerance, whether they are board books or young adult novels.

Look at the following sites for more information and creative ideas about Ramadan.

Browse through these titles and those from previous years for some selections to share with your family or students.

Nabeel's New Pants: An Eid Tale
Retold by Fawzia Gilani-Williams
Illustrated by Proiti Roy

On the day before the celebration of the Muslim holiday of Eid when Ramadan has ended, Nebeel the shoemaker has been busy selling new shoes for the holiday. Now he finally has time to buy special clothes for his family. He needs new pants as well, but all he can find is a pair that is too long. The family is pleased with what he has bought, but no one has time to shorten his pants. So he does it himself, then goes out to visit the sick and poor. Meanwhile his wife, his mother, and his daughter all feel ashamed. He is so good that they should shorten his pants for him. Each in turn does, without telling the others. Of course when he puts them on next day, they only reach his knees. After laughing, they all work together to sew the pieces back so they can go to the mosque together. Black India ink drawings and intensely colored gouache paints provide crisp, stylized images of local places and clothing. The illustrations, chiefly single pages and vignettes, are a light-hearted but not comic accompaniment to the folk tale. A glossary is included. 2010, Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, Ages 4 to 8, $15.99. Reviewers: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 0-7614-5629-5
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5629-2


  1. I loved this book in its original version (titled Ismat's Eid, and published by one of my favorite publishers in India, Tulika Books). I'm so glad that Marshall Cavendish has brought it to the North American market.

  2. Hey, I'm doing a book giveaway on my blog and thought you might be interested!

    Great Blog!