Ramadan Kareem

HarperCollins. Feb. 2024. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063240124.
PreS-Gr 3–A celebratory, tender picture book that reflects how the holy month of Ramadan is honored by Muslims around the world. The story begins with the sighting of “the new crescent moon,” marking the start of Ramadan. The voice of the child narrator travels across the experiences of children in different countries expressing, through lyrical language, what the practices of fasting, prayer, meal preparation, helping others, and sharing time with family mean during this most holy month. Yuksel pairs these shared values of Ramadan with culturally specific language for loved ones and foods, reflecting the diversity of the Muslim community: “I trace the lines of the Qur’an on my abuela’s lap, which feels warm and cozy like a soft blanket,” and “Eggs sizzle, toasters pop, qatayefs flip.” Aly’s illustrations fill each page with colors and patterns that emanate excitement and care as families share meals, visit the market, gather for prayer, prepare donations, cook, and set the table together. Readers will enjoy finding small flags placed in the illustrations that give a clue to the country pictured. Full spreads commemorating Eid end the book with reverence and delight. Back matter includes further information, a glossary of terms found in the text, and additional resources.
VERDICT A beautiful follow-up to the award-winning collaboration In My Mosque, this book reflects the diversity of Muslim communities around the world while uplifting the shared principles of the holy month of Ramadan.

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