New books and News: An Ummah Reads roundup

Just a quick post here with a roundup of some one bit of news and of the books I’ve come across (one just released):

First though, I want to mention the Tales of Dhikarville books that a reader of this blog introduced me to. I haven’t read these books but they seem to be simple stories that are aimed at encouraging good behaviour and Islamic habits in Muslim children. According to the publisher these books are:

“Colourful illustrated books with Islamic morals”

It appears that these books are based on the Mr. Men/Little Miss books which some of you may know. Each book featured a dominant character whose personality was based on his/her name for example, there was a “Mr. Chatterbox”, a”Mr. Messy”, a “Little Miss Bossy” and a “Little Miss Helpful.”

The writer of Tales of Dhikarville is H.B. Sahibzada and the illustrator is M. N. Sialvi. The illustrations follow the original series’ with short, chubby characters and simple, bold colours except that now they wear hijab, have beards and wear long clothing. Titles are catchy with some being Brother Dawah, Brother Hajj, Brother Tawheed, Little Sister Birr, Little Sister Salaam and Little Sister Taharah. Read a brief review of the series and about one title in particular, Brother Sawn here.

I haven’t been able to find a website, but according to the Facebook page, there seems to be more than thirty books in the series. I’m not sure if these books are available outside of the United Kingdom. Has anyone out there read the books in this series? I would love to hear about what you think.

A new book from the Islamic Foundation I’ve come across (which I haven’t read it as yet) is The Hijab Boutique by Michelle Khan. I am not sure what age group this book is geared toward but from the publisher’s site it may be for 7 to 10 years and according to the publisher’s website:

“Farah enjoyed her private girls’ school until the day an assignment to bring in something representing her mother to talk about for ‘International Woman’s Day’. Compared to her friend’s glamorous actress and tap-dancing mothers, what can her modest, humble mother have that is worth sharing with her classmates? To her surprise, her mother was quite a business woman!”

 

Last year I became a member of the Islamic Writers’ Alliance, an organisation of Muslim writers, editors, poets and authors. Members benefit from the support and advice that is shared. The organisation also produces a quarterly magazine and gives book awards and donations to Islamic schools among other things. Recently I was privileged to be interviewed by a fellow IWA member, Amina Malik, who asked me about what were my intention and hopes for Ummah Reads. Please stop by and read the online magazine here (scroll down, it’s the third interview).

Image credits: Tales of Dhikarville – http://alkokab.wordpress.com/ & http://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Tales-from-Dhikarville/165515270169792

A Muslim Princess (Book Review)

A Muslim Princess is not about a princess in the traditional sense of the word, though I must admit that when I first heard about the book I was thinking of the classic novel A Little Princess. Instead, A Muslim Princess is a short picture book with a big message; be happy to be a Muslim, in particular a Muslim girl.

image via amuslimprincess.com

The book is not so much a story as it is a description of essential aspects of a Muslim girl’s life. We are told that a Muslim girl greets others with salaams, smiles, prays, keeps herself clean and reads Qur’an.I like the simple rhymes which are used to describe each picture, such as:

 

 A Muslim Princess says “As’ salaamu alaykum” to everyone she greets, and has a smile for anyone she meets.

and this:

A Muslim Princess knows that germs cannot be seen, so washes her hands to always be clean.

The sketches are warm and inviting and use lots of pink which I know is definitely appealing to girls.  The warm smile of the little girl in every picture radiates confidence, peace and happiness. Produced by a mother for her daughter, I think the author’s words best describes the book:

It aims to capture the characteristics a little Muslim girl may aspire to achieve,
from the way she dresses, behaves as well as actions to earn Allah (SWT)’s pleasure.
 

Many parents will enjoy sharing this book with their little ‘princesses.’ The author plans to bring out another book geared toward boys titled not surprisingly, A Muslim Prince.

The book is available here as well as in bookstores located in Cape Town, South Africa. For more  information about the book visit the website  and Facebook page.