This series uses festivals as an avenue to discuss the basic tenets of the faith. There is a short and easily understood discussion of Muslim beliefs and history, the importance of Friday prayers and a page or two on each festival or key event. The pages are broken up with colorful, modern photos of Muslims and mosques all over the world, from a dusty street in Nigeria to a mosque in Australia to Muslims praying on the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. There are blocks with quotations from the Quran or details about particular holidays, such as the time for fasting during Ramadan ("fasting must begin when there is enough light to tell the difference between a black thread and a white one"). The book uses the traditional transliteration from Arabic to identify prophets without providing the name that would be more familiar to American readers�Isa for Jesus, Jibril for Angel Gabriel, Musa for Moses. Otherwise, it is an excellent introduction to the ways Islam is celebrated and practiced. There is a glossary, index, resources and a calendar of Islamic holidays. 2003, Franklin Watts, Ages 8 to 12.
Gr 3-6-Colorful photographs and clear writing fill these two books. Each title begins with a brief introduction to the religion and continues with chronologically organized, single- or double-page chapters that explain the origins and customs of major celebrations. Features include stories and legends about deities (Hindu) and several prayers and passages from the Holy Qur'an (Muslim), as well as simple crafts and activities. Each page contains a good balance of text, full-color photos, and illustrations. One note of caution: younger readers may be distracted by the use of several different fonts on the same page. Solid resources that complement more general books about each religion.-Sue Morgan, Tom Kitayama Elementary School, Union City, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.