From the Publisher
“Clear words and simple, colorful collage illustrations show the family together as the boy learns the meaning of Muslim customs, prayers, and practices. . . . Children will appreciate the warm, personal narrative, as well as the connections with Muslims all over the world.” Booklist
“In this simple explanation of Ramadan, a little boy explains that he will be fasting for the first time. . . . The richly patterned collage and mixed-media pictures will appeal to young children. A double-paged spread with many races and national groups illustrates the diversity of the Muslim world.” Kirkus Reviews
“Upbeat and informative . . . With her signature mixed-media and collage artwork depicting people with large, open, friendly faces, Katz accents a solid and inviting introduction to these holidays.” Publishers Weekly
Katz (My First Kwanzaa) adds to her canon of picture books about multicultural celebrations with this upbeat and informative work. A boy narrator shares with readers what it is like for him and his family to observe the holy month of Ramadan, an important element of their religion, Islam. He describes various faith traditions and practices such as fasting between sunup and sundown, praying in the mosque and, eventually, marking the end of Ramadan with the celebration of a three-day festival called Eid al-Fitr. With her signature mixed-media and collage artwork depicting people with large, open, friendly faces, Katz accents a solid and inviting introduction to these holidays. Ages 2-5. (Aug.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Muslims all over the world celebrate this sacred holiday. It lasts for a month during which Muslims pray and fast, and this fasting also includes not drinking anything all day long. When the month finally draws to an end, it is celebrated with a three-day festival called Eid-al-Fitr. Katz has created a truly child-friendly description of the holiday featuring a family with a son and daughter. In this depiction, the mother does indeed wear a head covering and the father a cap. They are shown arising before dawn to eat a big breakfast to give them strength to get through the day. The first of five prayers starts the day for the followers of Islam. Other traditions include washing hands and eating a sweet date before the evening meal (iftar), which dates back to the lessons of Muhammad and what he taught his followers. The mosque is shown with Muslims arriving for prayers, but there is no mention of men separated from women while praying. It all ends with a party and feasting.
In this simple explanation of Ramadan, a little boy explains that he will be fasting for the first time. He describes eating breakfast before sunrise, saying special prayers and attending his Islamic school where he makes a calendar and tries to ignore his hunger. After sunset, his family washes their hands and starts the meal with a date, just as Mohammed did with his followers on Ramadan. He visits the mosque during the month and at the end, celebrates Eid al-Fitr with parties and presents. The richly patterned collage and mixed-media pictures will appeal to young children. A double-paged spread with many races and national groups illustrates the diversity of the Muslim world. The book appears to take place in the U.S. (the family eats "buttery eggs, toast, fluffy pancakes, fresh berries, and orange juice" for breakfast), but the mention of assembling in a "town square" for Eid al-Fitr doesn't quite seem to fit. While more details would be useful, the text is appropriate as an introduction. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-6)