Time to Pray

( 1 )

Overview

I heard the voice of the muezzin calling, "Come to pray, come to pray." Yasmin is visiting her grandmother, who lives in a country somewhere in the Middle East. On her first night, she's wakened by the muezzin at the nearby mosque calling the faithful to prayer, and Yasmin watches from her bed as her grandmother prepares to pray. A visit with Grandmother is always special, but this time it is even more so. Her grandmother makes Yasmin prayer clothes, buys her a prayer rug, and teaches her the five prayers that ...

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Overview

I heard the voice of the muezzin calling, "Come to pray, come to pray." Yasmin is visiting her grandmother, who lives in a country somewhere in the Middle East. On her first night, she's wakened by the muezzin at the nearby mosque calling the faithful to prayer, and Yasmin watches from her bed as her grandmother prepares to pray. A visit with Grandmother is always special, but this time it is even more so. Her grandmother makes Yasmin prayer clothes, buys her a prayer rug, and teaches her the five prayers that Muslims perform over the course of a day. When it's time for Yasmin to board a plane and return home, her grandmother gives her a present that her granddaughter opens when she arrives: a prayer clock in the shape of a mosque, with an alarm that sounds like a muezzin calling the faithful to prayer. Maha Addasi's warm and endearing story is richly illustrated by Ned Gannon. This Arab American Book Award, Honor Book features a text in English and Arabic, and includes an author's note and glossary.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A girl's visit to her grandmother in an unnamed Middle Eastern town introduces her to her spiritual heritage in this visually arresting tale, which subtly addresses the challenges and importance of passing on faith traditions from one generation to the next. English text appears with Arabic translation against a beige wash, opposite earth-toned scenes. During her visit, Yasmin observes her grandmother's devotions, involving ritual ablutions, prayer clothes, and a prayer rug, as well as the way the community's shopkeepers and vendors integrate prayer into their daily lives. An appendix describes the five "Fard prayers" required by Islam. Ages 7–9. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
While visiting her grandmother in the Middle East our narrator, young Yasmin, hears the nighttime call to prayer from the minaret of the nearby mosque. Her grandmother washes and prepares for prayer, but Yasmin is too tired. The next day, she wonders how she will be able to rise and pray like her grandmother when there is no mosque near her home. Her grandmother reassures her that she will fix everything. She has Yasmin choose fabric to make special clothes for prayer. Then she picks out a special prayer rug. They go home in time for the afternoon prayer. Her grandmother shows her how she prays. The grandmother sews Yasmin's skirt and headpiece. Then they are ready to go to the mosque. Yasmin practices the prayers until it is time for her to fly home. Her parting gift from her grandmother is a prayer clock, so she can keep up her prayers, at least most of the time. Gannon's oil paintings provide detailed depictions of the settings, the objects, and the characters, dominated by the decorative patterns associated with the region. Readers learn about the rituals along with Yasmin. There is a detailed description of the prayer times for Muslims. The story is told in Arabic below the English. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—Yasmin is visiting her grandmother in the Middle East. She hears the muezzin making his first call to prayer before dawn but is too tired to get up. She watches Teta make wudu (ablution) to prepare for worship. Yasmin wonders how she will know when to pray at home because there are no mosques where she lives, but her grandmother assures her they will find a way. Sadly, the visit comes to an end, and Teta takes Yasmin to the airport. When the girl arrives home, she unpacks her gifts, her prayer costume, and her mat, and she finds a surprise box from Teta. In it, she discovers a miniature mosque that gives the adhan (prayer call) five times a day. This is a beautifully woven tale of grandparent affection and spiritual development. Gannon's illustrations present a warm and authentic balance of Islamic geometric designs and Arab architecture and culture. This bilingual, English and Arabic book ends with an explanation of Salah—the five times during the day of worship for Muslims. Familiarizing Islamic prayer through realistic fiction makes this a fine choice for most collections.—Fawzia Gilani-Williams, An-Noor School, Windsor, Ontario
Kirkus Reviews
In an unnamed Middle Eastern country, Yasmin learns about Islamic customs and prayer on a visit to her grandmother. Coming from a suburban U.S. home, the girl says that she does not live near a mosque, but she also has not yet learned about the five prayers of the day in her own home—this contrivance sets up the didacticism that follows, but it feels utterly unrealistic. Her grandmother makes her prayer clothes, buys her a prayer rug and takes her to the mosque. Best of all, she gives the girl a surprise gift to help her with her prayer at home. The oil paintings are rich in tone, and the geometric patterns of cloth, rugs and the mosque are engaging, but Yasmin and her grandmother look different on almost every page. This distracts from the story, which, given its evident educational intent, is almost too simple. The names of the different prayers are only given in the explanation for adults, for instance. It is unusual and therefore praiseworthy to see a bilingual English and Arabic book from a major American publisher, but this bland effort fails. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590786116
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,383,847
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Maha Addasi was born and grew up in Kuwait, and has worked as a correspondent for Jordan Television, Dubai Television, and the BBC. She lives in Virginia.

Ned Gannon is the illustrator of The White Nights of Ramadan by Maha Addasi. He lives in Wisconsin.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 6, 2011

    Highly recommended. Check it out!!

    I read it with my daughter we both enjoyed it very much! It's great that you have it in Arabic and English and simultaneously for those who'd like it in either language or for those who'd like to learn!

    Thank you

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