My First Ramadan

( 3 )

Overview

Look! There is the new moon in the sky.

It's time for Ramadan to begin. Follow along with one young boy as he observes the Muslim holy month with his family.

This year, the narrator is finally old enough to fast, and readers of all ages will be interested as he shares his experiences of this special holiday.

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Overview

Look! There is the new moon in the sky.

It's time for Ramadan to begin. Follow along with one young boy as he observes the Muslim holy month with his family.

This year, the narrator is finally old enough to fast, and readers of all ages will be interested as he shares his experiences of this special holiday.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

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.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805078947
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 8/7/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 277,127
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.49 (w) x 9.09 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Katz has written and illustrated many books for children, including The Colors of Us, Can You Say Peace, My First Kwanzaa, Counting Kisses and Where is Baby’s Belly Button. Long inspired by folk art from around the world, she was inspired to write her first book, Over the Moon, when she and her husband adopted their daughter from Guatemala, and she wanted to tell the story of welcoming Lena into their lives. Katz loves to paint and experiment with texture, color, collage and pattern. Besides an author and illustrator, she has been a costume designer, quilt maker, fabric artist and graphic designer. Katz and her family divide their time between New York City and Saugerties, New York.

Biography

From painting and sculpture to quiltmaking and costume design, Karen Katz has been making art in one form or another all her life. But it was not until she and her husband adopted a baby from Guatemala that she considered a career in children's books. Published in 1997, her debut picture book, Over the Moon, told the story of one adoptive family's happy beginnings in a country far away. Since then, Katz has gone on to create many award-winning picture, board, and novelty books that capture the joys of childhood in simple storylines, vibrant colors, and winsome illustrations. Some include count-down elements (Counting Kisses, Ten Tiny Tickles) or interactive features (Where Is Baby's Belly Button?, Peek-A-Baby); still others introduce holiday traditions (My First Kwanzaa, My First Chinese New Year) or reinforce good habits, manners, or behavior (Excuse Me!, No Biting!, I Can Share).

Perhaps the secret to Katz's success (besides the undeniable appeal of her signature round-headed babies!) can be summed up in this quote taken directly from the author/artist's website: "When an idea for a story pops into my head, I ask these questions: Will a child want to read this book? Will parents want to read this book with their children? Will this book make a child laugh? Will this book make a parent and child feel something? Is there something visual here that will hold a child's interest? Will a child see something in a different way after reading this book? If the answer to any of those questions is 'yes,' then I know I'm on the right track."

Good To Know

Katz explains the difference between designing picture books and board books in this way:
Picture books usually have more words in them but they tell more of a narrative story. Board books are usually simpler. They are generally 6 spreads and are about one concept. When I create a board book, I try to make something that is very interactive for the baby, with flaps and pull tabs and lots of surprises. Board books are a perfect size for a baby's hand to hold and touch. Babies can have an experience all by them selves with a good board book and can also have a good lap-time experience with a mommy or daddy or caregiver. Picture books take a little more care since the pages can rip. With a board book, you can throw it in a stroller, chew on the corners and even wipe off mashed peas.

Katz has received numerous awards for her work, including:

  • Smithsonian, People, and Parent Guide magazines Best Books designation, all 1997, all for Over the Moon
  • Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award nomination, Florida Reading Association Award nomination, and Child magazine Best Book designation, all 2000, all for The Colors of Us
  • National Parenting Publications Gold Award, and Child magazine Best Book designation, both 2001, and Bank Street School Books Committee Best Book designation, 2002, all for Counting Kisses
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award, 2002, for Counting Kisses and Twelve Hats for Lena.
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      1. Education:
        Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia; Yale Graduate School of Art and Architecture
      2. Website:

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