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Toys Next Door by Sh. Soosi


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Title: Toys Next Door

Author: Sh. Soosi @shsoosi

Illustrator: Qa'ed Mai

Publisher:

Age: 4-8

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Islamic Content: Being grateful for the blessings, not boastful.

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Concerns: None

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Summary:

Kind-hearted Nooh has 4 toys but the boy next door, he has a large pile of them. He boasts about and decides that his huge collection makes him better, smarter and stronger than Nooh. Nooh reminds him that Allah decides to give us what we have and, just like that, He can decide to take them away. Thus, no matter how little or big Allah's blessings are, we must we thankful and grateful. However, it takes a great loss for the boy to realize that Nooh was right.

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Review:

This is a small size board book that teaches the value of gratefulness to the little ones. It is written in rhyming verses throughout. The flow is consistent for the most part and the simple language makes the story easy for the young kids to digest. This is inspired by the story of the two gardens in the Qur'an. I really like that the concept of this story has been executed in such a way that the child can easily relate to it. The boy next door expresses many of the feelings that young kids may relate to: possessive of his belongings, difficult for him to share, comparison with others, and a sense of pride. All those emotions are normal in kids who are still figuring out the world around them, thus the lesson within it is very crucial. Of course, I never get tired of reading books which have lessons tie directly to Allah (swt). I'm going to be honest, I don't particularly love the way the kids faces are illustrated, but its starting to grow on me the more we read the story. This is definitely a book you want to have in your shelf space.

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