Best Books to Help Children Understand Islamic Faith and Culture (2)

As we have cited useful books which are highly important to help children understand Islamic faith and culture in our previous post, today we would  like to continue this list:


Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hen Khan and Mehrdokht Amini 

The simple rhyming text and stunning illustrations of this book introduce children to some of the basic concepts of Islam, as well as key vocabulary. Children who are not Muslim will likely find ideas they can relate to, such as giving to those in need (zakat) and receiving special gifts on holidays.

I recommend reading each page out loud, and then flipping to the glossary in the back to explain any terms to your child that she is not familiar with. (Recommended for ages 3 – 7).


Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane and Hoda Hadadi 

Lalla wants to show her mother than she is ready to wear the malafa, the colorful cloth than some Muslim women in Mauritania wear when they are in public to cover their clothing and heads. She believes that the malafa will make her beautiful like her mother, mysterious like her older sister, and a long-ago queen like her grandmother.

Her mother reminds her that a malafa is about so much more than 2 things. It is only when Lalla says that “more than all the dates in an oasis, I want a malafa so I can pray like you do,” that her mother knows she is ready for the garment. (Recommended for ages 4 – 8).


The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter

There’s no writer quite like Jeanette Winter when it comes to breaking down complicated, painful issues through the stories of real people who children can understand.

When Alia Muhammad Baker, the librarian of Basra, hears talk of war, she worries that “the fires of war will destroy the books, which are more precious to her than mountains of gold.” When the governor refuses permission to move the books to a safe location, she takes matters into her own hands.

Each night she fills her car with books, filling her home with them. When war begins, Alia reaches out to her neighbor for help in her mission. Though the library itself burns to the ground, the persistence of Alia and her friends kept the books safe. (Recommended for ages 5 – 10).


Growing up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam by Sumbul Ali-Karamali

Ali-Karamali subtitles Part I of her book “What It’s Like to Grow Up Muslim in California.” This guidebook is designed to introduce older children to the basic practices of Islam, major aspects of the history of the religion, and a bit about the demographics of Muslims.

Because this is a more detailed book than the others on this list, the author has room to explain more. For example, in the chapter on food, she shares not only what rules about food there are in Islam, but reasons certain prohibitions may have developed. Throughout the book, she sprinkles stories of her own childhood experiences in, making the book very relate-able. (Recommended for ages 10+)

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