The Qur'an My Best Friend by Suzane Derani
📚 BOOK REVIEW 📚
Title: The Quran My Best Friend
Author: Suzane Derani
Illustrator: Jenny Reynish
Islamic Content: Qur'an
Concerns: Illustrations, web and pigeon's nest at the cave.
The book starts to talk about the value of the Qur'an and how its revelation began through Angel Jibril in the cave of Hira. Then makes mention of the story of the elephant, Abu Bakr and Prophet Muhammed's (saws) hiding on their way to Medina, as well as the Hoopoe bird and Queen Sheeba. It touches upon the plots of shaytan and continues with the night journey of Isra wal Mi'raj. Finally, the last few pages recap some lessons that can be derived from the Holy Book such as the creation of Allah, how to treat your parents, etc.
This picture book is written in rhyming verses from beginning to end. The main lesson of the book is knowing the value of the Qur'an. I really had high hopes for this book but it left me puzzled. There are just too many things going on. I feel like the beginning and the end go together okay, but the middle makes me confused and is presented in a disorganized manner. The story of the spider web and the pigeon's nest by the cave is not in the Quran, rather proven to be weak hadith narrations by some scholars. I think the purpose of the above mentioned events is to capture some history that is included in the Quran, however it was poorly executed. There is no smooth transition between one event and another. As a reader, it makes me curious to know how these were chosen to be part of the book among countless others stories. The illustrations depicting them make me uneasy. Also, it seems to me the target audience isn't very clear. On one hand it is a picture book, on the other, the language proves to be geared towards older kids. I really like the benefit of the concluding pages from the book: Tips for parents and educators, duas from the Qur'an and glossary. Overall, the rhyming is done quite well and with the guidance of the right editor, this had the potential to be an inspirational source for little Muslim readers.