My First Book About the Qur’an, written by Sara Khan and illustrated by Ali Lodge, is a colorful and whimsical board book that is a perfect introduction to Islam for every tiny Muslim. The simple, friendly words together with the bright, happy illustrations make this book a joy to read and share.
While this book is called My First Book About the Qur’an, it’s more an introduction to Islam in general than to the Qur’an in particular. It focuses on the idea of Allah as the Creator and the on basics of Islam without talking about the Qur’an in any detail.
The writing is appropriate for toddlers—super simple, with carefully crafted sentences. There is a beautiful cadence to the lines of this book that make it the kind of book adults won’t mind reading over and over to a fixated toddler. For example, listen to how this flows: “Allah made the sun and the moon, the stars and the sky. Allah made the mountains and trees, the desert and seas.”
The book is super sturdy and has fantastic illustrations; they are colorful, whimsical, and sometimes clever. They are family-friendly, showing lots of families doing things together. They also show diversity and people of different faiths coming together.
What I think makes this book so wonderful is its organization. It begins at the very beginning: “The Qur’an tells us . . . in the beginning there was only Allah. There was nothing else. But then . . . ” And the next page is this beautiful explosion of color:
After explaining the origin of everything is such a simple and beautiful way, a good portion of the book is spent describing many of things Allah created. For example, the sun and moon, animals, and humans.
The next portion of the book is spent describing what Allah wants from us.
Again, the sequencing here is very particular. Khan begins with our relationship with Allah, moves on to our relationships with others, moves into the five pillars, and then into family-building when we are older. The end is an absolutely gorgeous explosion of colorful water, plants, and mountains that says: “When we die, Allah wants us all to go to paradise, where we can have everything we want and where we will live forever with those we love.” I love that the beginning of this book is the very beginning, and the end is the very end. I think toddlers will be able to appreciate this without even being consciously aware of it. And the best books are full of things like that—things that we don’t even notice, but that make our reading experience that much better.
This book would make a perfect gift for a new baby. To be honest, I wish I myself had had this book when my children were small.
I highly recommend this book for all Muslim toddlers. My First Book About the Qur’an is published by Kube (2017), and you can get your own copy here.
Thank you to Kube Publishing for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.