Choosing Kids Books
Alhamdulilah, we are blessed to live in a time when there are so many options when it comes to children's Islamic/Muslim books. A few of them are making their way in public libraries, school libraries as well as in classrooms. There are some amazing books that engage the child's attention in a beautiful way and enable our kids to have a growing love and connection to their faith and bring confidence in their Muslim identity.
Here are some key elements that I look for when choosing Islamic/Muslim books for my children: .
1. Authentic Islamic content. Does the story include Islamic lessons based on Qur'an or authentic narrated hadith from the Prophet (saws)? How important is this at a young age for kids? I feel it eliminates confusion from day one and paints a clear picture of what the basics of Islam actually teach. .
2. Is the protagonist Muslim and are they shown to be visibly Muslim in the illustrations? This is especially important as a reflection of their Muslim identity. .
3. If there is no direct Islamic lesson, what positive message is the book promoting? And is that message actually encouraged by Islamic values in some way? .
4. Is the story written in a way that engages and grabs the attention of the reader (parent) and the listener (kids)? This is the difference between reading the story once and forgetting about it and having the book become part of your regular bed time routine. For example, there are so many kids books that do injustice to stories of the prophets; they are either flat in tone, or too wordy or the context is not kid-friendly. .
5. Who is the author? Supporting Muslim authors and their work is essential for them to continue to serve the Muslim community at large. So it is a win-win for the authors and the consumers. . .
What do you look for in children's Islamic books?