“Let me start by saying that this is probably one of the best Islamic story books out there for girls in the age bracket of 5-12 quite simply because of the quality of the publication, its glossy illustrations, the wide range of vocabulary used and a good, captivating story-line with a strong female character who has the potential to become a cool role-model if this was to be made into a series.
I read the books to my two girls aged 6 and 10, and they were both gripped from the start. They liked the fact that the names in the book were varied, some Islamic and some not. They loved Princess Siyana's character very much, and the fact that her numerous qualities came across so well through her interaction with other characters in the story, and that she was illustrated both with and without her Hijab on. Even the other characters, although not main, had endearing personalities that the girls found cute. I found that the story evoked a range of emotions in my girls from anticipation to sadness to excitement to laughter and even suspense, and kept them interested until the end. The full-page Disney-style illustrations are very captivating too.
The fact that the book encompasses more than just the one 'moral of the story' and has several positive messages to take-away makes it all the more likeable, and admittedly, I as an adult, found an especially beautiful thing to take away from it myself. It is definitely worth buying and keeping, since both my younger one as well as my older one found age-appropriate lessons therein, and have picked up the book again to read by themselves. Other bonus points are the inclusion of a recipe (easy enough for the kids to make) and related activities at the back of the book, without giving too much away!”
Nazmina Dhanji: Head of Arabic at Al-Mahdi Institute; Mother of Three; Translator and Teacher
“I have had the pleasure of meeting the vibrant, dynamic author of Princess Siyana's Pen, Zainab Merchant, who has taken her extraordinary qualities and put them into this fine work of a classic fairy tale infused with Islamic wisdom and morals. The heroine Siyana embodies Islamic ethics with strength, dignity, and feminine grace; something our community needs to cherish and benefit from in this day and age. Our young girls will certainly treasure and get excited about a heroine to whom they can relate and with whom they can fill their imaginations and dreams. So often in our push for academic achievement and rankings, we underestimate the critical role of imagination, dreams, and creativity. Our children, both girls and boys, can enjoy this well-crafted and beautifully illustrated Islamic fairy tale, that speaks to their identity and innate desire for goodness and justice. Inshallah, we see more from this talented author to give our Muslim children a place to dream, envision, and grow.”
Sister Nicole Correri: Educational Consultant