Yan’s Hajj by Fawzia Gilani and illustrated by Sophie Burrows

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Yan is a poor farmer who wants to go to hajj. But every time he saves up enough money and sets out, he meets someone in his path who needs his help.

He empties his money purse while on his journey three times, first to help repair a burned-down school, then to rescue a hurt and exploited boy, and finally, to build a mosque.  Each time, he simply goes back home and gets back to work to save more money. Eventually, he is old enough that he knows he won’t be able to save enough money again. But the good deeds he filled his life with have caught up with him, and the boy he rescued comes to take Yan to hajj. On this final journey, he sees the fruits of his labor: the school, the boy’s happy parents, and the mosque. View Post

Mini-Review—Surprise! by Zaheera Jina

61k96V726RL._SX260_Oomi tells Yusuf and Isa that she has a surprise for them. They take guesses as they eat dinner, and clean up, and play, and brush their teeth, and finally . . . They discover that the surprise is even better than any of their guesses. This is a cute story about a young family’s everyday life with a Muslim bent.

Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and illustrated by Ebony Glenn

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In Mommy’s Khimar, a powerful new picture book for children 4–8, a little girl plays dress-up in her mom’s scarves, imagining she’s a queen, a superhero, and a mama bird. 

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Her favorite scarf is the yellow one, and when she wears it, it’s a cuddle from her mom. Even when she takes off her khimar, she carries her mother with her. View Post

Zak and His Little Lies by J. Samia Mair and Illustrated by Omar Burgess

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Zak is having a great day and can’t wait to go to the skate park with his dad and sister. He just has to do more chore and not tell any lies. Easy, right?

Zak and His Little Lies, written by J. Samia Mair and illustrated by Omar Burgess, is a fun and engaging picture book and the second in a series about Zak. View Post

Bismillah Soup by Asmaa Hussein and Illustrated by Amina Khan

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Bismillah Soup is one of my favorite picture books about a Muslim child. It is a delightful story about a boy who uses positivity and hard work to bring his community together and overcome adversity. 

The Story. Hasan, a young Somali boy, knows his mom has a lot of problems. His dad is away for work, and they are down to the last few grains of rice in the bag. An electricity outage means a lot of their food has spoiled. Hasan, eager to help his mom, promises they will have a huge feast that night. She is perplexed, but Hasan runs off with his optimism in tow. He goes to the masjid and explains his problem to Shaykh Omar, who offers a pot and a bag of rice, and assures him, “Say Bismillah, and I’m sure you’ll think of something.”

This is the beginning of a beautiful tale about one boy’s perseverance and faith in Allah. Based on the classic story Stone Soup, it has a Somali flavor: his parents are his Aabo and Hooyo, and there are muufo bread, samboos, and bananas. View Post