The Most Precious Gift by Yasmine Abuzeid
BOOK REVIEW 📚 Title: The Most Precious Gift Author: Yasmine Abuzeid Illustrator: Melani Putri Publisher: Prolance Publishing @prolancepublishing Type: Fiction/Non-Fiction Age: 4-9 Rating: 6/10 🌟 ⭐ Islamic Content: Benefits of Salah/Prayer ⭐ Concerns: in one instance, God is referred to as our best friend ⭐ Summary: Ziyad the Zebra is up early before the sunrise. He finds his parents performing the Fajr prayer and asks them 'Why do we pray?' Baba explains that prayer is a blessing given to us by God, the most precious gift. As they hear the monthly party prep happening in the jungle, Ziyad wants to have input from his friends: 'What does the most precious gift of prayer bring to them?' Each one of his animal friends shares their insight: patience, hope, peace, togetherness, connecting to God, hope, courage, thankfulness, happiness and remembering God.
⭐ Review: I really like the overall premise of the book. It's quite common to find books on how to perform salah, however, discussing the benefits of salah with the little ones itself is quite important. The illustrations are adorable and my kids got a giggle out the animals' clothing and more specifically, their hijab. When it comes to overall language and text I find issue with a couple of run-on sentences. There's also a character Layanne the lion, when in fact it should be the lioness. After everything that Ziyad had learned from his friends, his mother reminds him that because this is a very precious gift given to us by God, we need to take care of it in the best way. I personally like how the story concludes, about the mindfulness of our prayer and it is kept simple and to the point.
⭐ There are two things that bother me in this book. One - when Ziyad first asks his parents 'why do we pray?' I was anticipating that their quick response would be to worship Allah. Not only that, but I would have wanted to see that 'connecting to God' and 'remembering God' to be more emphasized instead of it blending in with all other points. Two - when Bayan the butterfly says "The most precious gift can provide us with a connection to our best friend, God." - it's quite problematic. This sentence makes me feel uncomfortable because, as Muslims, we are instructed to refer to Allah, the Almighty, with the names and attributes He refers to Himself in the Qur'an and Sunnah (ie: the 99 Names). Allah is the Most High and should not to be compared to a mere friendship that we know within the limitations of Dunya. Allah knows best and we ask Him for guidance. #themostpreciousgift #yasmineabuzeid #muslimkidsbooks #islamickidsbooks #muslimauthor