From School Library Journal
Grade 1–4—This story is centered around Girgian
, a Muslim celebration observed mostly in the Arabian Gulf states during the middle of the month of Ramadan. When Noor, who lives in Kuwait, sees the almost-full moon rise, she knows it's time to prepare for the festival. The family makes candy from honey, sugar, and nuts to share with the children in the neighborhood, wrapping it with cellophane and colorful bows. Then the siblings decorate canvas bags with bright colors, hoping to fill them with treats on the following evening. Noor spends the next day reading the Koran and praying while she fasts but wishes the time would go more quickly. Finally, the sun sets, and the streets are filled with youngsters singing, carrying fanouses
(Ramadan lanterns), and knocking on doors to collect candy. Afterward, Noor and her grandfather deliver a food basket for the poor to the mosque. The story underlines the gift of sharing during a month dedicated to self-improvement and community welfare. Shimmering with moonlit hues, the attractive illustrations are done in a style that reflects one of many Muslim cultures. A helpful author's note and glossary are appended. An excellent choice for units on diversity and multiculturalism.—Fawzia Gilani-Williams, Oberlin Public Library, OH
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With joyful excitement, a young girl in Kuwait tells how her family celebrates Girgian, three days under the full moon in the middle of the holy month of Ramadan: the traditions; the special clothing, foods, and crafts; and the meaning of the holiday—“spending time with family and sharing with those less fortunate.” She reads the Qur’an and prays through the day, and she is now old enough to fast from sunrise to sunset with the grown-ups. With other children, she and her brothers go on their Girgian walk at night and collect candy; then they deliver food for the poor to the mosque. The handsome full-page oil paintings show the preparations in a warm home decorated with richly detailed carpets and wall hangings, as well as the shimmering costumes of the children as they walk along the moonlit streets. Addasi was raised in Kuwait, and her final note and glossary enrich the story. Grades K-3. --Hazel Rochman