Books to Read this Ramadan – For Young Readers

Books to Celebrate Ramadan (1)

A few years ago, a parent approached me at the library, asking if we had books on Eid or Ramzaan. She wanted to read it to her child’s class. We had two books with us – Ismat’s Eid and Ramadan Moon. While I love these two books for the stories and the representations of the celebration, I wished we had more books. I wished for a collection of books that spoke about a practice, faith, belief, culture, celebration not just to those of us who did not know enough or wanted to know more, but books that could also speak to those who follow the beliefs and practices, or belong to the faith, or know more. Over the last few years, I have been reading and collecting books about Ramadan – books that represent crucial elements of the faith and its practices beautifully and respectfully, books and stories that are mindful about not essentializing, or reifying stereotypes, books that showcase the diversity of Muslim life across the world. Here’s a list of books that are perfect for talking about, introducing, understanding and celebrating Ramadan (Most links in the post take you to the author’s website or to an Indie Book Seller). 

Ismat’s Eid

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|Author : Fawzia Gilani Williams | Illustrator : Proiti Roy |

Adapted from a Turkish tale, Ismat’s Eid is delightfully humorous picture book that is ultimately about family, affection and celebration. It’s Eid… Ismat buys his family special gifts, and a new pair of trousers for himself but they are just too long! A long pair can always be cut short and that’s where the story starts.

Yo Soy Muslim, A Father’s Letter to His Daughter

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|Author : Mark Gonzales | Illustrator : Mehrdokht Amini |

Yo Soy Muslim.
I am from Allah, Angels,

And a place almost as old as time.
I speak Spanish, Arabic,
And dreams….

Muslim and Latino poet Poet Mark Gonzales’ words in verse and Mehrdokht Amini vibrant illustrations are a celebration of identity and relationships. Written as a letter from a father to his daughter, Yo Soy Muslim lovingly highlights the diversity of the Muslim community and the world to her. The book speaks directly to the Muslim child…This book is not about but for them. 

Ramadan Moon

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|Author : Na’ima B. Robert | Illustrator : Shirin Adl |

Ramadan, the month of fasting
Doesn’t begin all at once
It begins with a whisper
And a prayer 
And a wish

Ramadan Moon is stunning picture book – in both its visual and its narrative. Told in the first person, it captures the wonder and delight of the celebration of a special month  that culminates with Eid-ul-Fitr. all through the eyes of a little girl. This book is a wonderful introduction to the meaning and practice of Ramadan.

Ramadan Around the World

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|Author : Ndaa Hassan | Illustrator : Azra Momin |

Ramadan Around the World, showcases how various cultures around the world celebrate this important month. The book brings together customs and traditions observed by children and families from different parts of our world. Also, do check out the link to the book for some really cool activities .

Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets, a Muslim Book of Shapes

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|Author : Hena Khan | Illustrator : Mehrdokht Amini |

Juxtaposing geometric shapes on concepts, objects and architecture from Islamic faith and practices, this book brings for its readers, the significance of each in Muslim life. Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes is magic and joy!

Muezza and Baby Jaan, Stories from the Quran

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|Author : Anita Nair | Illustrator : Harshad Marathe|

This collection of stories from Quran for children (and grown ups!) opens up a wealth of wisdom and teaching.  The unlikely pair, a djinn in the form of a baby camel and the Prophet s favourite cat, Baby Jaan and Muezza, come together to bring for young readers mesmerizing tales, and the “wonder of rare, enlightening nuggets of Islamic lore”.  Author Anita Nair writes this book with great care and research. And we really did appreciate her for bringing us this book!

Lailah’s Lunchbox

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|Author : Reem Faruqi | Illustrator : Lea Lyon |

This book has been called by many as solid addition for libraries in need of modern Ramadan stories” . Lailah has moved to a new school in a new country far away from her home. When Ramadan begins, she is excited that she is old enough to participate in the fasting but worried that her new friends won’t understand. Encouraged by her librarian, she writes about her feeling, sharing her beliefs and culture with her new friends.

Night of the Moon

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|Author : Hena Khan | Illustrator : Julie Paschkis|

Along with the book Ramadan Moon (mentioned above), Night of the Moon beautifully illustrate the traditions ofRamadan. The month that begins for Muslims all over the world with the sighting of the Moon’s first crescent.  Seven-year-old Yasmeen, watches every night as the moon grows and shrinks and finally disappears, only to reappear and then its time to celebrate “Chaand Raat” (The Night of the Moon).

Owl and Cat…Ramadan is…

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|Author : Emma Apple | 

This picture book follows Owl & Cat, and their family and friends as they celebrate the 30 days of the Islamic month of fasting…Ramadan and the accompanying traditions.

The Little Girl says Alhamdulillah

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|Author : Rabia Gelgi | 

What a beautiful little picture about being grateful for all that we have on this world. This little certainly thinks so! She goes about her day in gratitude, saying “Alhamdulillah” (Praise be to God) for the littlest joys that she encounters.

*This picture book is available online as a e-book.

Going to Mecca

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|Author : Na’ima B Robert| Illustrator : Valentina Cavallini |

With stunning mixed media illustrations and a lyrical text,  this book offers a window on to a sacred journey for Muslims the world…Hajj. This is a great introduction to the religious practices and the deeper meaning of Hajj to young children as well as adults. Like all her books this one is absolutely beautiful.


 

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Rabani Garg has over 10 years of experience in designing and conducting literacy projects for schools, communities, and libraries in India. As an editor of Thinkling, an Indian children’s magazine she co-founded, she was involved in creating a literacy resource that focussed on encouraging linguistic, literary and cultural pluralism. Currently at University of Pennsylvania, she studies issues of diversity, representations and power structures in language, literature and media and its impact on learners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tricksters at Reading Caterpillar this Saturday!

Tricksters visit us as we bid adieu to 2016

Has a cunning and crafty creature ever come your way? Played a prank on you and got away?

Tricksters have existed in our stories and folktales for as long as one can remember, making stories come alive far beyond a page. 

When people travelled from one place to another they took with them their most prized possession – their stories. 

These stories were passed from one culture to another and soon tricksters were born.

Come join us as we go on a tricksters trail this saturday morning 11 am at Reading Caterpillar. Drop us a mail to let us know if you are coming.

Date: 31st December 2016

Time: 11am to 12 Noon

Age: 3 to 7 years

Fee: Free for the library members (Non-members Rs. 500)

Please email rabani@readingcaterpillar.com to let us know you are coming.

See you Saturday 

Summer Program for the 7 to 10+ year olds

We have authors and illustrators visiting us  and working with us this summer. These workshops for the 7 to 10+ children start next week and are on till the end of May. Children can join all or choose a particular Module.

Please email us at join@readincaterpillar.com to register or know more. The number of participants in each of these is restricted to 10.

summer program 7 to 10

Details of the workshops –

Ages – 7+ to 10+ years

 ‘A Neighbourhood revisited’ with Samina

Where does the Reading Caterpillar live? Who are its friends and neighbours? Who gives it shade? Who brings it new stories? Join this workshop to observe, talk, record, draw and write about the Reading Caterpillar’s neighbourhood with author and filmmaker Samina Mishra. Over 4 days, children will play and work with words, pictures and sounds to create a narrative account of the neighbourhood that is home to the library.

Facilitators: Samina Mishra, Group Size: 10

 ‘Fly over your neighbourhood’: make your own Story Tapestry –

This is a wonderful project– a visual representation of what children see in their mind’s eye. Inspired by the African tradition of quilting their stories, we will sketch our stories out on cloth and the put it all together as a tapestry. Illustrator Priya Kuriyan will be joining in the workshop to help us illustrate our stories- translating our words, images into visuals.

Facilitators: Rabani, Priya Kuriyan and Prerna, Group Size: 10

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 (Above Pictures are from the Tar Beach )

The workshop A Neighbourhood revisited’ with Samina Is about putting the visuals that you see around you in to words, the second workshop ‘Fly over your neighbourhood’ – make your story tapestry, is about translating the images and perceptions of different places that we carry within us, into visuals.

These two workshops offer not only an interesting perspective to children but also an opportunity to work with really interesting people. Though children can join in either/ or of the workshops, joining in both the workshops will be a great way to look at the project as a whole.

‘The Modern Masters’ Artists, their stories and Art-

Artists tell their stories through their art. In this five-day workshop, we will hear stories and look at the art of some of our Modern Masters. This summer we have chosen

  • Pablo Picasso,
  • Andy Warhol and
  • Frida Kahlo.

These three artists, from different parts of the world have been a defining force in the world of Art. We look forward to delving into their art through their life stories- learning about what they painted and how…..We will paint using their palette of colors, techniques and inspirations, sharing their artwork with the children.

Facilitators: Rabani and Prerna Sood, Group Size: 10

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 About the Facilitators:

Samina Mishra– She is a favorite at Reading caterpillar! Samina Mishra is a documentary filmmaker and writer with a special interest in media for children and has been published by Tulika, Young Zubaan and Scholastic. She makes films, write, teach and conduct workshops to make room for multiple stories of the world.

Priya Kuriyan- She is a children’s book illustrator, comic book artist and an animator. She has illustrated numerous children’s books – including Growing Up in Pandupur for Young Zubaan – for a variety of Indian publishers and currently lives in New Delhi. Priya is a graduate from India’s prestigious National Institute of Design(NID). Take a look at some of her work at http://priyakuriyan.blogspot.in/ and http://pkuriyan.blogspot.in/

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