It’s Story Time (Media Review)

 

photo source: 1 Islam
Being the Guide to Muslim Children’s Books and Media, I thought it was about time that I did a review of some type of media. Today I want to talk about a DVD for children called “It’s Story Time: The Story of Adam & The Story of Noah.” 

From the beginning we are pulled into a beautiful world with sounds of birds whistling sweetly in the background. A menu at the start allows viewers to select a chapter (story, nasheed or game). The feature presentations are stories of two Prophets of Allah, Adam and Nuh (spelled Noah in the DVD). Added features include two nasheed videos and two simple games.

Young viewers will immediately be drawn to the DVD when they see groups of children talking together and to the camera about what they know of the story of the first man Allah created, Adam. Older children will find themselves following the text on the screen when the story itself is being narrated. Animations of nature provide the backdrop to the narration.

In the second story (The Story of Noah), we see more animation with shadows and images of people (faces are not shown) but the text still appears for viewers to follow along. While younger viewers may not be able to read the text, they will still be captivated by the moving scenery.

Viewers will welcome the challenge to remember some facts about the story of Adam through a quiz with Zaky (a bear that appears at the start). Younger children will like trying to figure out the names of some of the animals who boarded the ark in the story of Noah in the “Guess what is the Animal” game. The nasheed “I’m growing up, InshaAllah” by Shaheed Alkawn shares the moving story of Prophet Ibraheem (Abraham) and reminds viewers that they are growing up “to serve Allah.” Unfortunately the animation in the video tells of a different story (how the first filming of the DVD began) taking away from the powerful message of the nasheed.

The “It’s Story Time: The Story of Adam & The Story of Noah”DVD (see a short clip here)is undoubtedly a high quality production from the graphics, images, sounds, games and script. I believe the appearance of the children and the added features including games really make this DVD unique. This DVD as well as others (including one of the story of Prophet Ibrahim) by 1 Islam Productions are a great addition to any home or classroom collection.


  

Title of DVD: It’s Story Time: The Story of Adam & The Story of Noah
Producer: 1 Islam Productions
Date: 2005
Running Time: 35 mins.
Country of Origin: Australia
Subject: Prophets and Messengers, Allah
Age group: 5 – 12 years 

 

What we’re Reading

My sincere apologies for not posting any reviews (I have several drafted and almost ready for posting, insha’Allah) and articles over the past week. Things have been a bit hectic around here and I have been preparing for the poetry celebrations starting in April (look out for some great poetry).

Today I introduce a new feature here on the blog. In the “What we’re Reading” posts, I will mention the interesting books my son is enjoying. Some he reads on his own and others we read together.

The Ark of Nuh by Saniyasnain Khan. (2006). Goodword Books. Nonfiction. 24 pages. Paperback. ISBN 8187570873.

The Ark of Nuh has been of particular interest to my child. He loves seeing the animals marching toward to Ark. The illustrations are lively and attractive for young children. We take time to talk about the variety of animal species created by Allah describing how Allah is Al Khaliq (the Creator). We don’t dwell on the drowning of people but instead focus on the beautiful world Allah created and how wonderful it felt for the people on the Ark and the animals to leave it and start life again.

The Heinle Picture Dictionary for Children by Jill Korey O’Sullivan. (2008). Heinle. Nonfiction. 160 pages. Paperback. ISBN 978-1-4130-2256-8.

The Heinle Picture Dictionary for Children introduces children from ages 4 – 8 to a wide range of vocabulary. It is a wonderful resource book to have around the home and in the classroom. A vast vocabulary is presented to children in an easy-to-read and fun way. Each two page spread introduces a theme (such as seasons, school, animals, time etc.) and the pictures on the pages are clearly labelled clearly. My son enjoys the ‘Rhyme time’, ‘Fun Facts’ or ‘Story’ which are featured at the top of every page.

Seeds Grow into Plants by Mario Lucca. (2001; 2006 Arabic Edition). National Geographic Society/Arab Scientific Publishers. Nonfiction. Paperback. 12 pages English; 12 pages Arabic. ISBN 9953291772.

Seeds Grow into Plants is a dual language book that introduces a child to the world of seeds and plants in Arabic and English. Readers are shown four different sets of seeds (pumpkin, wheat, apple and bean) and asked “What will grow from these seeds?”  The following eight pages depict the type of plant the seed will grown into and the produce that comes from that plant. Photos of actual seeds and plants that used are stunning and vivid. My son enjoys comparing the various types of plants and how they are shaped differently. For example, pumpkins grow on vines (never on trees!); wheat in stalks like grass and apples on trees. The Arabic is simple enough for child to understand. The letters are vowelled and spaced well on the page making reading the Arabic easier (for those first language is not Arabic). I read to my child in Arabic and English when I can (he reads it in English on his own) helping to reinforce the Arabic words he is learning by listening to my voice.