The stories of Mohammed's life as both a child and a prophet are included in this collection, along with stories of Moses, Abraham, Abraham's son Ishmael, and Ishmael's mother Hagar. They are not parables or legends with a message, but stories of the people and events that form the basis for the Islamic faith. The stories that pre-date Mohammed are common to all three Abrahamic faiths: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Retold from the Qur'an and ancient writings by and about Mohammed, they are easy to read and understand. "Did you know" boxes on each page explain relevant aspects of geography or faith (e.g., five pillars of Islam, importance of Makkah/Mecca, the sources of the Islamic stories).The book acknowledges expert advice from both content and literacy consultants. The soft color washes on each page are far more interesting than the simple, colorful line drawings; there are also a few small photographs of Mecca, a Qur'an, and Muslims in prayer. This would be an excellent title for groups of children studying comparative religion at a beginning level, but like many books of Bible stories, it may be too religious for secular classroom use.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-6-Unlike the many religion books for young readers that focus upon the central tenets and rites as well as the cultural practices of its adherents, these titles are based on narratives. Buddhist zeroes in on the life and teachings of the Buddha, moving through his disenchantment and enlightenment and into less-familiar tales, such as that of the grieving Kisagotami or of a violent robber whose name means "finger necklace." In the case of Hinduism, Ganeri has selected significant and dramatic stories such as the creation of Ganesh and how he came to have an elephant's head; the birth of Krishna, an incarnation of Rama; and Durga's conquest of a shape-changing demon. While Islamic gives its greatest attention to events from the life of Muhammad, it also recounts stories from the more-distant past involving Musa/Moses, Ibrahim/Abraham, Isma'il/Ishmael, and Hajar/Hagar. The power and wisdom of Allah are central in these stories. Sikh also has a biographical focus, selecting important didactic lessons from the lives of the Sikh gurus to make their points. A noteworthy aspect of these stories is the prominence of Sikhism's stance against greed and those who use religion for self-aggrandizement. All four volumes have sidebars with additional information and small photographs. The illustrations, done in watercolor and pen and ink are merely competent, but Ganeri's writing is inviting and fluid. Libraries wanting more diverse information on world religions will find that these titles fit the bill nicely.-Coop Renner, Hillside Elementary, El Paso, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)
Meet the Author
Anita Ganeri is an award-winning author of information books for children. Educated at Cambridge University, she has written more than 300 books, including the best-selling 'Horrible Geography' series (Scholastic Children's Books) which won a 2009 Blue Peter Book Award. She writes widely on animals and the natural world. A recent title for Raintree, A Day in the Life of Rainforest Animals: Capybara, has been shortlisted for a Maryland Blue Crab Award 2012. Anita lives in the north of England with her husband, children and assorted pets.