Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

words & pictures. (Celebrations & Festivals). Feb. 2024. 48p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780711287167.
K-Gr 2–A heartfelt tribute to the month of Ramadan, as narrated by a young Muslim girl who lives with her parents and a cat in a nonspecific location, among a diverse group of neighbors and classmates who also celebrate. Raya’s first-person tour establishes the excitement that surrounds the month of fasting by day for most adults, and the break in the fast, the iftar, in the evenings. She explains how one crescent of the moon starts the holiday cycle and another ends it; that Ramadan may last 29 or 30 days, depending on the month in the lunar calendar it lands on; the hanging of flags and other garlands in homes; and the foods they enjoy at night. Suyatna provides bright details in the scenes that are not in the text, e.g., when Raya might don her hijab, or head scarf. Raya is a forthright narrator whose childlike voice sometimes grows overly adult (“Being from a mixed cultural background, we don’t have one type of dish we like to eat for iftar”); she charmingly emphasizes the many ways she and her community try to please God, or Allah, by being on their best behavior, donating to charity, and remembering those less fortunate. Art and text work together to move the month forward; back matter includes a recipe, activity, facts on the five pillars of Islam, holy mosques, a quiz, and more.
VERDICT A friendly introduction that will be useful for young children learning about fasting, and which certainly fills a hole in the holiday shelf with almost DIY-level details for celebrating a special time of year.

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