The List: Islamic Children’s Books

Hi everyone! I know it has been a long long time since I’ve written over here. I’ve been more active over on the Instagram account because let’s be honest, it’s just easier. But, I shared some of my favourite Islamic children’s books over on my stories and decided to follow it up with a blog post with the links to the books included. So here goes, my first proper blog post in months.

There are certain things I think make a great children’s book. It has to be beautifully illustrated, with thought and attention given to the presentation and images that inspire wonder in the child. It should also be well written, either in rhyme or in prose, with words chosen carefully to best relay the intended message to the child.

Here are some Islamic books that I think meet such standards and that my children have enjoyed…

  1. The Boy and the Owl by Siraj Mowjood & Aisha Changezi

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This book is a staple for the Muslim home. It explores the basics of our creed (Aqeedah) through a story and beautiful illustrations. The wording is simple and concise and it ends  with a profound message. Available here.

2. Montmorency’s Book of Rhymes by T. J. Winter & Anne Yvonne Gilbert

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Written by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, this collection of nursery rhymes range from playful stories and silly rhymes to poignant reminders and short stories which aim to teach children about basic vices such as greed and obstinance. Available here.

3. Painting Heaven: Polishing the Mirror of the Heart by Demi Hunt & Coleman Barks

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Drawing on Imam Al-Ghazzali’s “Marvels of the Heart” this book explores what is required to purify the heart through a story and accompanied by Demi’s characteristic illustrations. My children are always left in awe when we read this book, and I think its one that is just as relevant to the adults too. Available here.

4. Muhammad (pbuh) by Demi

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No list of Islamic children’s books is complete with a biography of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This one by Demi is my favourite for its stunning illustrations of course, but also for its narration of the main events in the Prophet’s (pbuh)  life. Available here.

5. The Genius of Islam by Bryn Barnard 

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This one is a non-fiction text that explores the major contributions and inventions that stem from Muslims. I’d say its aimed at older children, but the illustrations and facts can dazzle younger children as well. Available here.

6. Golden domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan

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This one ticks all the boxes for me. The illustrations are stunning and the premise of the book simple and accessible. Available here.

7. Ramadan Moon by Na’ima Roberts

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We take this book out every Ramadan (with numerous readings beforehand) and the girls just love every page. In a time when we lack community and therefore exposure to Islamic customs in real time, such books aid to fill that void. Available here.

8. It’s Ramadan, Curious George by Hena Khan

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Universally loved Curious George goes on a Ramadan adventure. It’s fantastic for the kids to see a well-known character engaging in Ramadan activities as well. Available here.

9. The 99 Names of God by Daniel Thomas Dyer

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A recent favourite of ours, this book goes through each of the 99 names of God through activities, stories and illustrations. As part of our homeschooling program we are currently going through each name, creating an illustration of a sign of the name and reflecting on how we can see His Name present around us. Available here.

10. TURKISH BOOK “Daha da küçükler için allah’ı merak ediyorum”

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This is a Turkish book, but it is so good that I had to share it with you all. If you are Turkish, then this series is a must in the home. It explores difficult concepts related to Allah (Swt) through narrative. The stories are beautifully written and convey the message clearly. Not sure if this site delivers internationally but it seems to be available here.

I’m sure there are plenty more books out there, so if you know any please do share them in the comments below.

Our Ramadan set-up

We are very excited about Ramadan this year, simply because we are more prepared than ever before, and yet we still have a million things to do, so that should give you an indication of how NOT prepared we were in previous years.

To be honest, it is REALLY hard to prepare everything for Ramadan. Making sure the house is in order, cleaning out the fridge and pantry, meal planning for THIRTY DAYS, doing the grocery shopping, organising activities for the kids… phew…

And that’s just the physical, tangible, material things.

Ramadan is supposed to be about the spiritual… and let me tell you, I am definitely not spiritually prepared. But I am looking forward to making the time to work on it this Ramadan day because boy, do I need this opportunity.

So, let’s dive straight into the Ramadan set-up for the kids this year. I knew that I wanted to keep things neutral with pops of gold and black, with wooden elements. Because obviously it still needs to match my home right???? I also wanted to incorporate the house bookshelf we purchased recently, which we’ve designated as our ‘seasons’ set up (kind of a Waldorf inspired thing). I had to source a new Ramadan calendar, and although I really wanted to purchase one from Handmade beginnings, I didn’t get onto it in time and totally missed out. So instead, I DIY-ed this one with drawstring bags (which I very fortuitously found at Typo for $1 each, and the money goes to charity, sooo they were PERFECT) attached by fishing wire to a branch (which we used for our calendar last year). I still need to fill it up with gifts and activities, but I’ve got “daily good deed cards” in there from And then she said. I’ve been following Pepper and Pine on Instagram/Youtube and watched her “20 Candy free ideas for a Ramadan Calendar” post. I’m totally inspired to pop some seeds in every second one and having the children plant them in one big pot so that over the course of Ramadan they can see the seeds grow. They’ll be responsible for watering them and nurturing them, a great metaphor I think for what we do in Ramadan, which is to nourish our souls and connection to Allah (swt).

The Tent. Oh how much I love that tent. I really wanted an Itikaf tent, or a “Reflection Tent” and was thinking of DIY-ing it. And then I remembered how much I suck at DIY projects, especially ones on a bigger scale and I went and bought this one from Mocka instead. It was more affordable than other teepees on the internet and very easy to set up. Plus that “natural” colour was perfect. I added the string lights (from Kmart) and it’s just magical…

In the house bookcase there are a lot of books related to Ramadan. I don’t have the time to list them all now, but I’ll update this post in the next few days with the complete list. And finally of course, there is the Play Masjid from ZedandQ, which we all love.

All in all, the kids and I are very happy with the whole set up. I worked on it bit by bit over two weeks, mostly with things we already had at home, except for the tent and the calendar. I’m most pleased with the calendar, as I know that this is a design I can use year after year, until we feel the need to upgrade it. And the teepee is something we can continue to use after Ramadan. The kids are incredibly excited about Ramadan through all this preparation and I’m looking forward to a month of learning, reading and reflection all done in the spirit of togetherness.

How are you preparing for Ramadan? Do your kids get involved with the preparations? Do you think that this kind of set-up is overkill (lol)? If you are not Muslim, what kind of things do you prepare to involve your kids in religious celebrations?

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Four great children’s books

What makes a great children’s book?

To me, it needs beautiful illustrations, an engaging story, fantastical facts and interactive activities.

I picked up the following four books recently which have all of the above and they have been on high rotation with the girls lately…

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“Women who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, adventurers & rebels” 

This one had me at the title. It’s the second book I’ve bought for the girls about women who have dared to achieve their dreams. We haven’t gotten through it yet, but we have loved reading stories of strong and courageous women, and the illustrations are just lovely.

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Day of the Dinosaurs

My daughters are obsessed with dinsaurs, thanks in part to watching marathon sessions of Dinosaur Train whilst I clean the house, or put baby to sleep. I love how this book is interactive, jam-packed with facts and beautifully illustrated.

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Nature’s Day: Out and About

To be honest, I picked this one up because of the pretty front cover. Don’t judge a book by its cover? I’d have to disagree in this instance. Once we brought it home and opened it up, I realised just how brilliant this book is. It’s a companion to the book “Nature’s Day”, which we happen to have… in Turkish… we bought it from Turkey whilst holidaying there last year.

This one takes the reader through each season and has colouring pages, activities and craft ideas. A must for every child. Seriously.

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The Anti-Boredom Book of Brilliant Outdoor Things to Do

I think the title sums this one up.

It. Is. Brilliant.

My kids have been making paper planes, and paper frisbees, and… that’s all we’ve done so far lol. BUT! There are some solid ideas for outdoor activities, for all ages.

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What do you think makes a great children’s book? Which books are on high rotation at your house?