One question I hear often is, ” Do you have suggestions for books to read to my child’s class during Ramadan?” Well yes, I do! Below is a list of books written by Muslim authors, which are wonderful to read during Ramadan, in class, or at home. I’ve sorted the books by age range. Of course, the best picture books grow with children, meaning children will find new meaning at every age range, but for the purposes of finding the right fit for the classroom, I made it easy for you by recommending the age range.
Ages 0-3 years olds
This is certainly the board book age, being exposed to their first book about Ramadan.
I remember Ramadan 2017 when everyone gifted this book to the children in their lives. Since then it has made its way into many kindergarten classroom presentations. This book teaches children the cultural elements of Ramadan, the big feasts, and distracting yourself when fasting, but it doesn’t go in-depth into the religious elements of Ramadan, such as reading the Quran. I wish it addressed the why, not just the what. But the what is perfect for this young audience.
Sweet pre-schoolers and early kindergarteners are so smart and can understand more complex ideas such as fasting and the phases of the moon. The Curious George Ramadan book is great for this audience too. But here is one more!
Ages 5-8 years old
These sophisticated kids span from grades kinder to third grade and can understand the complex emotions that surround holidays.
“Zahra hugs her cherished teddy bear and prays that Ramadan will bring her a longed-for sister. When her bear subsequently goes missing, Zahra finds herself grappling with intense feelings of loss. Over the next few weeks, as she volunteers with her mother at a local shelter for asylum seekers, Zahra befriends a displaced child, resulting in a newfound sense of gratitude and an unexpected Ramadan blessing.”
The story centers around a little girl, Lailah, who moved from Abu Dhabi to Atlanta. She was finally old enough to fast during Ramadan but felt huge anxiety about explaining it to her classmates and teachers. By the end of this book, I was a mess of bubbling tears. My son, Kian kept asking me why I was sad, and I had to reassure him I was happy. This is an essential book for little Muslim girls and boys over the age of 5. It not only explains the purpose of Ramadan but the real-life emotions that many little children in the U.S.A feel during this time.
This book takes the reader around the world to see how Ramadan is celebrated. There is a lot of information shared in this book, more so than in typical Ramadan books. My kids loved learning about the unique traditions. The story is inclusive and thoughtfully written, sharing traditions from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
These early middle-grade readers love graphic novels and chapter books. I think information-rich picture books can still work for this audience. But here is a chapter book that I love!
If you know of any great books that I might have left off my list, please let me know!
Peace & Salam,