Note: This is a genuine review, the authors & publication are not even aware of it while I am writing it. These are purely my thoughts on the book as a Mother 🙂
Let me start by saying that I and Ruqaiya genuinely love this book – that is to my surprise (I expected to like it but not necessarily fall in love with it). Ruqaiya just turned one and it is surely an advanced book for her, but because I am a strong believer of introducing language early on. I bought this book to read to her whenever I can, hopefully daily, at least that was the intention. Currently, I read it to her almost daily and this is a book that literally brings smile on her face and she likes me to read it to her over and over. I do not read letters to her, rather say the letter sound and follow it by the words.
I usually buy board books for her, so that they can be in her access all the time. However, when it came to English Letters I decided on this book though it is not a board book, due to which it cannot be in her access all the time, (I SO WISH IT WAS!!!) because:
#1 is it Islamic (how can an alphabet book be Islamic? read on to find out)
#2 Zawji & I highly believe in supporting Muslim businesses so I thought to give it a try.
Without further delay, let’s get to know the book:
The writers of this book are: Karemah Alhark & Jamila Alqarnain #Sisters.
It was illustrated by Basheer Ahmed Al-Haqq.
It has been published by Noon Publications.
Without a doubt they make a very good team and have created a beautiful piece (bidhnillah – by the will of ALLAH). Adam to Zamzam is a Level 1 book of the Islamic Phonics Readers series that you can buy here.
This book has variety of good things that need to be mentioned & praised.
To start off, there are untold underlining lessons that are given through beautiful & thoughtful illustrations. The ideas like “skin color doesn’t matter” & “islamic dresscode” are very well put.
Islamic dresscode is presented in illustrations. Muslim children are wearing full clothing, elders are wearing hijab or kufi to go with their abayas and jubbahs. Even a nurse & queen in hijab! (That is what I really liked, I want my daughter to know that hijab is not going to limit her!).
Different skin tones are shown in good context, e.g. dealing with eachother nicely. Muslims are shown in variety of skin colors. (Our color doesn’t make us good or bad! )
After illustrations, I would come to words.
There is a lot of use of Arabic words in this book, which is really a good way of introducing our commonly used Arabic terms to kids & even explaining to them the concepts behind those. For instance, Salah & Hajj can pretty much be used to open up the discussion to teach children about these to their level of understanding. This book will really increase children’s arabic vocabulary to some level, that is for non arab kids. For those who aren’t good with Arabic words do not have to get intimidated because in end of the book there is a pronunciation and definitions of Arabic words page.
Anothing thing that I simply love about this book is the page quality. Though this is a paper book, the pages are of high quality. You can really feel the quality when you touch the pages or even look. While it may be an insignificant point for many, it really matters to me as a reader and being my daughter I know it would matter to Ruqaiya too in long run.
Things I would have prefered but are not a deal breaker:
– It being a board book! Ahh I would have loved that so much. Ruqaiya has already torn a page (was an accident, she was trying to flip the page) & kinda glued two pages together with her unintentional drooling. (I understand that authors didn’t think of this book to be for a year old, so no complains).
– Actual images instead of illustrations, atleast for animals & food, that is simply a personal preference because I believe when kids see real life images in books along with a term then it makes it easier for them to relate it to that object in real life.
– Faces without face features i.e. eyes, etc.
That is all from me.
You can also check out this review of the book that I came across right after I finished writing my review. This is surely written very differently than mine, and is even better.
Note: The image of book is taken from a blog post done by the authors on their blog.