Ramadan is Islam's holiest month, and a time of fasting and prayer.
But how do you explain that to kids, whether you're Muslim and want them to understand their heritage or you're not Muslim and want them to gain a basic understanding of other religions?
Tuve Floden tracked down several children's books about Ramadan that parents and educators can use as a starting point for talking about the month:
Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story, by Reem Faruqi; illustrated by Lea Lyon
Lailah is in a new school in a new country, thousands of miles from her old home, and missing her old friends. When Ramadan begins, she is excited that she is finally old enough to participate in the fasting but worried that her classmates won’t understand why she doesn’t join them in the lunchroom.
"Selected for special mention by both the American Library Association and the Anti-Defamation League, this work relates the story of young Lailah, who recently moved from Abu Dhabi to Peachtree City, Georgia," writes Floden. "First-time author Reem Faruqi skillfully blends a story about fasting during Ramadan with the challenges of moving to a new school."
In an interview with Blue Minaret, Faruqi, a former second-grade teacher, said she based the book on her own experiences as a young Muslim girl immigrating to the United States. "I chose to write a book about a Muslim, because I am a Muslim and believe we need to have more diverse children’s books representing people of different faiths and cultures," she said.
Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story, by Hena Khan; illustrated by Julie Paschkis
Yasmeen, a seven-year-old Pakistani-American girl, celebrates the Muslim holidays of Ramadan, "The Night of the Moon" (Chaand Raat), and Eid. With lush illustrations that evoke Islamic art, this beautiful story offers a window into modern Muslim culture—and into the ancient roots from within its traditions have grown.
"Yasmeen’s parents remind her to share with others, be grateful for what she has and enjoy the beauty of the world around us," writes Floden. "The book’s colorful illustrations are framed by geometric and floral designs, evoking traditional Islamic art and architecture."
READ MORE [The Washington Post]
To read more about Ramadan, see here, here and here.