Celebrating Ramadan

by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith and Lawrence Migdale

Ibraheem is a fourth-grader living with his American Muslim family in Princeton,... read more

Ibraheem is a fourth-grader living with his American Muslim family in Princeton, New Jersey, where he attends an Islamic school. The opening 14 pages explain Islam, including lists of the Five Pillars of Islam and the Five Daily Prayers, summaries of the prophet Muhammad’s revelations, brief explanations of the Islamic calendar, and information about the Qur’an. A helpful three-color map shows where most Muslims live. A caption explains, “many of the world’s more than one billion Muslims live in countries where Islam is the dominant religion . . . [and] . . . where diverse Muslim cultures have developed.” Color photographs with brief accounts of Ibraheem and his family taking part in religious practices accompany the factual material. When Ibraheem observes Ramadan, he prepares for daily fasts before daylight and participates in rituals when he breaks his fast at sunset. The Eid al-Fitr holiday marks the new moon and the end of the month of Ramadan. Ibraheem’s Egyptian grandmother’s recipe for the Eid cookie ghorayyibah is included. The author emphasizes the connection between Ramadan and the responsibility of all Muslims to treat people who are hungry with generosity. One strength is the book’s clarity about the great diversity of Muslims; Ibraheem’s mother’s traditions come from Egypt, his father’s from Bosnia. At the end are a 38-word glossary and an index. Although most Muslims would probably prefer the word “observing” rather than the series title “celebrating,” this book provides an accessible, reliable source of information about ways American Muslims practice Islam. (Ages 5–11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2002

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