“A book can’t change the world on its own. But a book can change readers. And readers? They can change the world….. We read with our children because it gives both them and us an education of the heart and mind. Of intellect and empathy. We read together and learn because stories teach us how to love.”
― Sarah Mackenzie, The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids
This year, without a shadow of doubt, I purchased the most children’s Islamic books that I have ever done in recent years. I think part of the reason is that unlike ten years ago, when there wasn’t that much on the market , now the publishing industry for Islamic books is truly booming. We are truly blessed and spoilt to have so many new and exciting titles coming up every year. I have compiled a list of our favourite Children’s Islamic books that we read in 2019. I have tried to include books for various age ranges- 0-5, 5-9, 9-12, so hopefully there will be something that will cater for your children. Please note this post may contain affiliate links and some books mentioned may be books we were initially sent for review. However , I have included them because we genuinely loved reading them.
1)Where is my prayer Mat
- Board book
- Age range- 2-5
- Author- Ruhana Begum
- Illustrator- Lera Moniz
This truly is an adorable and sweet lift-the flap board book. There aren’t that many of these on the market, which is a shame, because I do think that young children are always excited to find out what’s hiding behind the flaps , as they love the element of surprise.
The story is about a little boy called Musa, who “realizes it is time to pray his Zuhr salah (prayer) , but after making wudu (ablution) he could not find his prayer mat. He starts to look for his prayer mat in different places around the house, so that he could pray on time. ” I actually really loved the whole story because this is something that happens in my own house too ( and I am pretty sure in most Muslim households). My son or daughter often ask or scream : ” Muuuuuuum, where’s my prayer mat, where’s my kufi /hijab ….?”. To read my full review of the book , check my blog post –https://letslearnmama.home.blog/2019/11/17/review-wheres-my-prayer-mat-by-ruhana-begum/ . The book can be bought from Amazon –https://amzn.to/2rUprLC
2) My Book About Prophet Muhammad
Author: Sara Khan
Illustrator: Ali Lodge
Publisher: Kube Publishing
I am a big fan of Sara Khan , ever since I bought her first book ” My first book about the Quran”, so was really very excited when I found out this year that she has published her second book ” My first book about Prophet Muhammad “.
The book is perfect for toddlers and young children. It is a board book , so it is very sturdy and little hands will easily be able to flick through the pages. The text is simple but concise with 2/3 sentences per page. The illustrations are stunning , colourful and vibrant without overhwelming the child.
It truly is a perfect first book to introduce your children to the inspirational life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)- “his unshakable love for Allah and some of his amazing characteristics: his bravery, determination and kindness. At the end of the book Sara Khan has included a few facts about the Prophet Muhammad ( peace and blessings be upon him) and his life. The book can be bought from Kube Publishing-https://www.kubepublishing.com/collections/books-by-age-0-5-years/products/my-first-book-about-the-prophet-muhammad
3)Ramadan around the world”
Writer- NDAA Hassan
Illustrator- Azra Momin
Age Range- 6 and above
This book is definitely one of the most expensive ones, retailing at £19.99. However , as cheesy as it may sound, it is definitely worth every single penny. It shows children of various nationalities and how they celebrate Ramadan with their own families and communities from Mexico , Palestine, Senegal to all the way in Australia. But what I absolutely love about this book is that Ndaa Hassan not only includes families from various backgrounds( single mother, two-parents home, children raised only by grandparents) but also children who have different abilities and disabilities such as autism. hearing-impairment, diabetes etc. This is one of the first Ramadan books for children which I have seen that focuses not only on inclusion but also acceptance of diverse abilities and family types. The illustrations are done by the talented Azra Momin. We have a few books which have been illustrated by her ( Allah made everything by Zain Bhika, The Missing socks by Elizabeth Lymer and many more) and they are certainly stunning to say the least, full of colours , beautifully depicting the scenes of Ramadan festivities around the world. At the end of the book, there is a glossary and also a page with more information about Ramadan. The book can be purchased from Anafiya Gifts- Ramadan Around the World
- Author- Zanib Mian
- Age Range-6-13
- RRP- Around £5.00
- Illustrator- Nasaya Mafaridik
We are big fans of Zanib Mian and love all her books. I think we more or less have her entire collection .I love her style of writing too and we find her stories super fun to read. ” Welcome, readers, to the imaginative brain of Omar! You might not know me yet, but once you open the pages of this book you’ll laugh so hard that snot will come out of your nose (plus you might meet a dragon and a zombie – what more could you want?).My parents decided it would be a good idea to move house AND move me to a new school at the same time. As if I didn’t have a hard enough time staying out of trouble at home, now I’ve also got to try and make new friends. What’s worse, the class bully seems to think I’m the perfect target. At least Eid’s around the corner which means a feast (YAY) and presents (DOUBLE YAY). Well, as long as I can stay in Mum and Dad’s good books long enough… ” The book can be bought from Amazon –Planet Omar. We are also really looking forward to the second series of Planet Omar, which will be released in February next year.
5) A race to prayer
- Author -Aliyah Vaughan
- Age Range 7 and above
- RRP- £3.00
“Nothing is going right for Sulaiman. He just wants to have fun but something always stops him. First it’s the prayer, then it’s the rain and then the car breaks down just as he is leaving to watch the quad bike races. He eventually gets to the stadium but then prayer time comes back around. When he is finally ready to settle back into his seat something frightening happens and Sulaiman soon realises the blessings of a perfectly-timed prayer “. The book can be bought from Kube Publishing-https://www.kubepublishing.com/products/a-race-to-prayer-salah-1?_pos=1&_sid=daee3f007&_ss=r
6) Who will help me make iftar
- Author- Asmaa Hussein
- Illustrator- Saliha Caliskan
- Age Range- 4 and over
- RRP- £9.99
” Mustafa Amca and his wife have a yearly tradition- they cook iftar for their friends and neighbours on the first day of Ramadan. This year, Mustafa Amca’s wife is sick and can’t help him to cook! Will he be able to find others to pitch in and create a meal for everyone to enjoy”. The story is really lovely with stunning illustrations. I bought it from Anafiya Gifts , retailed at £9.99- Who will help me make iftar
7) The Best Eid Ever
- Age -Range 2-5
- Author- Asma Mobin-Uddin
- Illustrator- Laura Jacobsen
“Young readers can learn about Eid, a religious holiday celebrated by Muslim families every year, as well as the Hajj pilgrimage, when Muslims travel back to Mecca for the Eid, in this picture book about Muslim culture and traditions written by Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin and illustrated by Laura Jacobsen. This Eid, Aneesa should be happy. But, her parents are thousands of miles away for the Hajj pilgrimage. To cheer her up, her Nonni gives her a gift of beautiful clothes, one outfit for each of the three days of Eid. At the prayer hall, Aneesa meets two sisters who are dressed in ill-fitting clothes for the holiday. She soon discovers that the girls are refugees – they had to leave everything behind when they left their native country to live in America. Aneesa, who can’t stop thinking about what Eid must be like for them, comes up with a plan – a plan to help make it the best Eid holiday ever. School Library Journalsays: “[A] beautifully composed story. . . . This is a welcome contribution, giving much-needed visibility to a celebration observed by over ten million people in North America.” And Library Media Connection says: “After reading this book, children will have a greater appreciation for the Muslim culture and will have no problem realising that love is an action word.”
This is not the first book, which we have by Dr Asma Uddin. A few months ago, I bought ” A party In Ramadan ” to include in my eldest Ramadan’s basket and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. And by oure coincidence , I found that she has also written a book on Eid al Adha, called ” The Best Eid Ever.” I am not entirely sure why they have given the age range as 2-5. In my opinion , this one is definitely , same like Ramadan book, geared for children aged 6 and above. This book absolutely fantastic not just for Muslims but for non Muslims too. It explains this major Islamic holiday in simple words, so anyone who is non Muslim would be able to understand what Eid means. But what I love about this book , is that it touches on the sensitive issue of refugees and their struggles to adjust to a different country. It has the beautiful message that ” sharing is caring ” and the importance of giving to those in need. Overall, this is a really touching story . The illustrations are beautiful and colourful and at the end of the book, Dr Uddin has also included detailed note on the Hajj pilgrimage and Eid al-Adha. The book can be bought from Amazon-https://amzn.to/2YkC7Wc
8)Cotton Candy Sky
- Author-Zain Bhika
- Hardcover: 30 pages
- Age Range: 3 – 6 years
Publisher: Islamic Foundation
I am pretty sure we are one of the millions of fans of world renowned nasheed artist Zain Bhika. He is without shadow of doubt one of our favourite nasheed artists and my children absolutely love his songs. This is the second in a series of books under the Zeebee Kids level ( we absolutely love watching their videos btw) . The illustrations in the book are really beautiful and colourful with diverse charcters. The book can be bought from Kube Publishing –https://www.kubepublishing.com/products/cotton-candy-sky?_pos=1&_sid=704941d07&_ss=r
9) The Boy at the back of the class
- Author- Onjali Rauf
- Age Range: 8 – 11 years
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
“Told with heart and humour, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a child’s perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn’t always make sense.There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it.He’s nine years old (just like me), but he’s very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn’t like sweets – not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite!But then I learned the truth: Ahmet really isn’t very strange at all. He’s a refugee who’s run away from a War. A real one. With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people. And the more I find out about him, the more I want to help. That’s where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in. Because you see, together we’ve come up with a plan. . “.
My 10 and 8 year old absolutely loved this book, including myself too. We loved the realistic nature of the characters. This is a great book for empathy and teaching acceptance. It is an amazingly constructed story about a sensitive topical issue which couldn’t be more timely. I definitely think that adult readers could get as much out of this book as children. By exploring the attitudes and assumptions surrounding refugees, through the eyes of a child protagonist, the book really takes a step back from the politics and puts compassion and heart at the very centre. In this way the story never feels preachy and is all the more powerful because of it. The book can be bought from Amazon-https://amzn.to/34FHmTx
10) The Victory boys
- Author- Jamal Orme
- Age Range-9-12
- RRP £4.99
” Junayd and his friends think madrasa is a waste of time and older brother Saleem is fast becoming the black sheep of the family. That is, until the Imam oft the mosque iniaties an extra-curricular project outside his comfort zone. But can faith and football flourished side by side .”
If you have football mad children, then this one is for them. My 9 year old son really loved the book. Jamal Orme has also written another book in the series ( Team Spirit) , which we also have and he equally enjoyed reading that one too. The book can be bought from Kube publishing-https://www.kubepublishing.com/products/the-victory-boys-1?_pos=1&_sid=464c25bf3&_ss=r
11) ” We are off to pray “
- Author- Sana Munshey
- Age Range – 5-9
- RRP: £4.99
“A young boy prepares to pray with his family before he hears some familiar voices at the door. His friends have arrived and want to play. He must decide to pray or to play in this warm story that sees him enjoy an afternoon in the sun and please his parents and Creator. A simple yet captivating story that pits that pull of playtime against the daily requirement to pray in Muslim life. ” The book can be bought from Kube Publishing-https://www.kubepublishing.com/products/were-off-to-pray?_pos=1&_sid=9bd01b9ef&_ss=r
12 )The Green Bicycle
- Age Range 8-12
- Author: Haifaa Al Mansoor
“Wadjda has one simple wish – to race her friend Abdullah on her very own bicycle. But in Saudi Arabia, it is considered improper for girls to ride bikes and her parents forbid her from having one. Sick of playing by the rules, Wadjda schemes different ways to make money and buy the bike herself. But freedom comes at a high price . . . Set against the shifting social attitudes of the Middle East, The Green Bicycle explores gender roles, conformity, and the importance of family, all with wit and irresistible heart. ” The book can be purchased from Amazon –https://amzn.to/2M2dKsP.
- Author: Asmaa Huseein
- Age Range :4 plus
- RPP: £8.99
“A spinoff of the classic “Stone Soup” folktale, Bismillah Soup is a story about Hasan, a young Somali boy who ventures out to gather his community together for a great feast at the local Mosque! His journey is full of unexpected twists and turns that lead him down a path of discovering what community, generosity and reliance on God truly mean. ” The book can be bought from Anafiya Gifts UK-https://www.anafiya.com/products/bismillah-soup.
14) Secret Recipe Box
- Author: Helal Musleh
- Age Range:4 plus
- RPP: £9.99
“Maha’s grandma is moving from Palestine to Canada, and Maha can’t wait! Teta travels from far away with a box full of secret recipes and special memories. Maha wants to keep them all for herself, but Teta’s kindness teaches her the value of sharing, and the joy of connecting with loved ones.
A touching story about finding new communities, no matter where in the world you travel. ” The book can be bought from Anafiya Gifts UK-https://www.anafiya.com/products/secret-recipe-box
15) The Star Outside My Window
- Author- Onjali Rauf
- Age Range 8-12
“Following the disappearance of her mum, 10-year-old Aniyah suddenly finds herself living in foster care. With her life in disarray, she knows just one thing for sure: her mum isn’t gone for ever. Because people with the brightest hearts never truly leave. They become stars.
So when a new star is spotted acting strangely in the sky, Aniyah is sure it’s her mum, and she embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to make sure everyone else knows too — an adventure that involves breaking into the Royal Observatory of London, a mischievous scurry of squirrels and the biggest star in Hollywood…
Told through the innocent voice of a child, this is a story that explores the subtle faces and endless impacts of domestic violence, and celebrates the power of hope and resilience, from Onjali Rauf, the award-winning author of The Boy at the Back of the Class. ” The book can be bought from Amazon-https://amzn.to/2PUknyr
16) Zaid and the Gigantic Cloud
- Author- Helal Musleh
- Illustarator- Sabrina Pichardo
- RRP- £7.99
- Age Range- 4-8
Zaid is excited to go on a camping trip with his cousin Ahmed. Just as he’s getting his bag ready, he receives the news that Ahmed is sick and the camping trip is cancelled. Disappointment sets in and Zaid’s day gets gloomier by the minute! What will make Zaid’s gloomy day bright again?
An engaging book that will allow children to explore and understand their stormy emotions, and learn how to cope with them! ” The book can be bought from Anafiya Gifts- https://www.anafiya.com/products/zaid-and-the-gigantic-cloud .
17) I love my Baba
- Author- Razaida Bahram
- Illustrator -Asbah Alaena
- Age Range-2-5
The book depicts a beautiful relationship between a little girl and her father. It has a nice balance in portraying the different sides of fatherhood- loving , caring, helpful around the house , playful as well as emphasising our core aspect of our beautiful Deen- Salah and praying together as a family. The book uses rhymes throughout , which definitely makes it more engaging for young children and therefore is perfect for the target audience- toddlers and preschoolers. My 2 year old son and 5 year old daughter really enjoyed listening to the book and at the end we had a little discussion of what they loved about their daddy. I absolutely loved the illustrations done by the super talented Asbah Alaena – they are beautiful , vibrant and colourful.This is a brilliant book to have in your children’s Islamic library at home and also makes a perfect gift too. To read my full review of the book, check my blog post-https://letslearnmama.home.blog/2019/03/22/i-love-my-baba-by-razaida-bahram-book-review/. The book can be bought from Amazon-https://amzn.to/34CL403
18) If Allah Wills
- Author- Dr Oz
- Illustrator- Mariya Khan
- Age Range -2-6
” Faris wants to go to the Ka’ba, but it’s so far away and it’s nearly his bedtime. Can Faris get to the Ka’ba and back in time for his bedtime story? If Allah wills! This is a wonderful story of innocence and imagination. Every page has been designed with a child in mind and provides fun scenes to inspire both children and adults. Beautiful watercolour illustrations add vibrancy to the story for you to enjoy, and themes like love, kindness, and prayer are interwoven throughout, providing talking points for you and your child. The perfect addition to a young Muslim child’s life. About the author: Dr. Oz is a father of four, from London, UK. He has studied Islamic sciences for many years and has a keen interest in child development. He also has a post-graduate certificate in education and a PhD in engineering. “. The book can be bought from Amazon-https://amzn.to/2S9hWej
19) The colour Blind Boy
- Author- Mohammed Yaseen
- Illustrator- Khultum Burgess
- Age Range- 9-12
” The boy at the back of the classroom was the only one not staring at Abdullah. Who was he, Abdullah thought to himself? Abdullah knew that the boy had some sort of secret that made him different from the others, something that made him stand out. But what was it?
Carefully addressing the issues of racism, bullying, and color-blindness, this book is both engaging and insightful. It highlights how the color of one’s skin should be infinitely less important than their actions in the eyes of others—and how difficult school can be for children that don’t quite fit in. ” The book can be bought from Kube Publishing-https://www.kubepublishing.com/products/the-colour-blind-boy?_pos=1&_sid=b65cc626d&_ss=r
20 ) Tayba’s Sunna Recipe
- Author- Latifah Bint Mohammed Anwar
- Illustrator- Maria Rosaria Barrea
- Age Range-2-5
” Join Tayba in her cookery adventure, as she explores healthy foods within the Sunnah.
Just how healthy will her recipe be?
Good enough to eat? Get your children excited about healthy eating with this wonderfully illustrated book! “. The book can be bought from Anafiya Gifts-https://www.anafiya.com/products/taybas-sunna-recipe
This post is in collaboration with Fozia from http://www.muslimmummies.com/ and Hafsa from https://www.mamateachesme.com/, who are also sharing their favourite Islamic books for children and adults for 2019. I have provided the link below . Do check it out, as I am sure it will give you even more inspiration and make it easier for you to choose good quality Islamic books for your children and even for yourself too –http://www.muslimmummies.com/2019/12/our-favourite-islamic-books-of-2019-childrens-and-adults/ and https://www.mamateachesme.com/2019/12/22/our-top-10-favourite-islamic-books-for-children-2019/