From School Library Journal
Gr 3-7-In this very fine photo-essay, text and photographs combine to present information about Islam and the special month of Ramadan, as well as a picture of the family life of an American fourth grader, Ibraheem. Topics include a general introduction to Islam's beginning, basic beliefs and practices, the revelations received by Muhammad, the Qur'an, the Islamic forms for praying, and more. Ibraheem and his family are shown as they celebrate Ramadan, the month of daylight fasting. The boy's Islamic school, his mosque, his extended family, and the centrality of religion in his life are conveyed in warm, full-color photographs and sympathetic text. Sidebars spotlight a cookie recipe, the Islamic lunar calendar, and a map of that portion of the world where Islam is the predominant religion. Emphasis on the variety of Islamic peoples is provided within Ibraheem's own family, of Bosnian and Egyptian backgrounds. Teachers and librarians might pair Celebrating Ramadan with Mary Matthews' short novel Magid Fasts for Ramadan (Clarion, 1996), set in Egypt, for a child-centered look at one of the world's major religions.
Coop Renner, Moreno Elementary School, El Paso, TX
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-5, younger for reading aloud. This picture book for older readers follows devout Muslim Ibraheem, a fourth-grader living in New Jersey, through the holy month of Ramadan. A brief but surprisingly comprehensive introduction to Islamic faith and practice begins the book. Then each of the five pillars of Islam are introduced in text and pictures, including a series of six photographs in which Ibraheem demonstrates the postures involved in his five daily prayers. Ramadan, one of the five pillars, is the month in which Muslims celebrate God's revelation of the Koran to Muhammad, showing their gratitude and devotion with a month-long fast. Children and the sick aren't required to fast. Still, Ibraheem attempts it. The joy of Ramadan, which is often depicted as a solemn holiday, is captured well here as Ibraheem prays and plays with friends; and it's easy to celebrate with the boy as he successfully completes the fast. This is a sensitive introduction to Ramadan; the quality of the photographs and the eloquent text make the book the one of the best introductions in recent memory. John GreenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved