Alhamdulillah, we are living in a time where we have quite a few options for children’s books about Ramadan. Unfortunately, not all children’s books are created equal. In this list, I’m sharing some of my absolute favorite books about Ramadan for children 4–8.
The Jinni on the Roof
Written by Natasha Rafi
Illustrated by Abdul Malik Channa
It’s the story of Raza, who is too young to fast but wakes in the night to the smell of golden, flaky parathas being fried in the kitchen for the family’s pre-dawn meal. He just can’t wait, and he comes up with a clever and humorous way to get some parathas before the children’s breakfast. This really cute and heartwarming story is a favorite in my house, and it is the reason we stock parathas in my freezer every Ramadan. One of my favorite spreads shows how the sleeping house is filled with visiting relatives packed like sardines for Eid. It reminds me of my own childhood.
It’s Ramadan, Curious George
Written by Hena Khan
Illustrated by Mary O’Keefe Young
This board book is a simple but comprehensive introduction to Ramadan for young children and older ones, too. In it, our favorite curious monkey helps his friend Kareem prepare for and celebrate the month of Ramadan. I really love this one because it’s so powerful to see a familiar character that we know and love eating iftar, going to the mosque to do good deeds, and looking for the moon that marks Eid.
Ramadan Around the World
Written by Ndaa Hassan
Illustrated by Azra Momin
This picture book shows scenes of kids and families all over the world celebrating Ramadan. It not only showcases ethnic diversity but also shows children with autism, hearing impairments, and diabetes. The children fill sadaqah jars, play soccer, and gather at the mosque to pray and share food. There is kunafa, bubur lambak, and rooh afza. You’ll have to read if you don’t know what any of those are! I really love this book because it is a powerful demonstration of the ayah: “We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.”
A Party in Ramadan
Written by Asma Mobin-Uddin
Illustrated by Laura Jacobsen
This picture books is the story of Leena, who is excited to fast on the day her Auntie Sana is coming to iftar. When Leena’s friend invites her to a birthday party on the same day, Leena’s mom tells her that it would be alright for her to fast a different day instead. But Leena thinks she can do both. Will she be able to? I love that this picture book tackles the realities of growing up as a religious minority. Leena holds tight to her faith, and the ending shows Leena’s family and her neighbors coming together in a way that showcases the beauty of Ramadan.
Written by Reem Faruqi
Illustrated by Lea Lyon
Lailah is excited to be fasting Ramadan for the first time, and she puts away her school lunchbox for an entire month! Lailah’s mother writes a note for her teacher, but Lailah feels too nervous to give it to her. Lailah’s family moved from Abu Dhabi to Peachtree City last year, and she is worried what her classmates and teacher will say when they discover she is fasting. As lunchtime rolls around, Lailah can’t figure out what to do. Will she tell everyone she’s fasting? And how?
I love that this book tackles the struggle of going to school as a religious minority. In this empowering story, Lailah discovers that her teacher, librarian, and classmates are allies, and she owns her Muslim identity proudly.