Board books for Muslim children are rare. Good board books for Muslim children are almost impossible to find! I love reading and have always encouraged my children to read. It’s a hobby I actively promote in my family and I come from a family of readers. The only problem is my kids rip paper books! They go through them quicker than any shredder ever could.
If you have toddlers then you probably get where I’m coming from and you know how agonising each rip sounds to your ears! Imagine my delight then, when I came across the colourful ‘Just to please Allah’ books by Precious Bees! There are two board books for Muslim children in the series: Five pillars just to please Allah and Good deeds just to please Allah.
Diversity of characters
Initial thoughts on the books were related to the vibrant illustrations and the theme of inclusiveness. The characters are diverse in their ethnicity which is a teaching point in itself. They wear clothes representative of their nationality which is lovely. The illustrations are very detailed and go hand in hand with the text. This is very useful when trying to explain the books’ concepts to younger children.
Islamic concepts made easy
Short, well structured sentences provide a natural rhythm for these board books for Muslim children. The catchy rhymes can be read to the tune: ‘row row row your boat’ although I read it to a different one before I knew that! The wording is very simple and yet explains concepts in a very apt manner . Trust me, as a fellow children’s author, that’s hard to do! It’s not easy to simplify Islamic concepts which is why many Muslim childrens’ books fall short, not to mention the board books for Muslim children! You can tell the author, Rabia Bashir has a good understanding of language syntax and that in sha Allah, Precious Bees will be a success under her command.
Suitable for all ages
After seeing how much my younger ones loved the books (my youngest gave me a dirrrtty look when I tried to prise ‘his’ book from his hands), I thought I would see if I could use it to teach the older ones. And by older I don’t mean a cute kiddie age, but a moody “why do I have to do it… I never get anything!” age. That’s right, I’m talking teenagers – Allah help us all! With the promise of money for right answers (long gone are the days when hugs and kisses did the trick?), I managed use the books to ask them harder questions.
I was also able to explain concepts like tafsir in greater detail – oh yeah, there was a whole khutbah happening there! This was made possible by sentences in the books such as: “If you understand His [Allah] words, your home will be Jannah.” It was a natural teaching point and it came easily thanks to the multi-layered text.
I even managed to give dawah to my friend when she read the books to my youngest. She learned how to pronounce salaah like a pro – next step shahada in sha Allah!
My kids loved It!
But the pièce de résistance of these board books for Muslim children was the effect it had on my 4 year old. She is a proper diva, ‘not taking no drama from anyone’ type of child. She fights me on everything including learning ayaat from the Qur’an. And yet, there was something about this particular book that resonated with her. She started using words like salaah and alayhis salaam like an imam on the mimbar! That touched me very deeply and I realised more than me loving the books the kids did.
Next time you’re looking for board books for Muslim children (and even teenagers!) I highly recommend these beautiful books by Precious Bees available to purchase here.