Zahra’s Blessing: A Ramadan Story

Barefoot. Mar. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781646864935; pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781646864942.
K-Gr 4–Zahra prays for two things during the holy month of Ramadan: to find her beloved Teddy, who is missing, and for her parents to give her a sister. Throughout the pages of the story, which show the traditions and religious obligations during the month of Ramadan, Zahra also volunteers at a local shelter with her parents to help others in need—specifically Haleema, a young girl who Zahra quickly befriends. The book ends with both of Zahra’s prayers coming true. Colorful illustrations are perfectly framed to show the goings-on of the family during the holy month of Ramadan as they open their fast during their Iftar meal, pray, and read the Quran. The back matter of includes definitions of different terms and concepts about Ramadan, but also about displacement, foster care, and shelters. This book is a great opportunity for caregivers and teachers to begin a discussion about these topics, which can sometimes be quite difficult to have with children.
VERDICT Although there seems to be a lot of material presented in this picture book, between the narrative, illustrations, and back matter, the pages are easy to read and children will have no trouble following along. Recommended for both public and school libraries.

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