Booklist (Amina Chaudri)
This entry in the Holidays series gives emergent readers an accessible first look at the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. It answers the most basic questions about what Ramadan is, how long it lasts (one month), and how it is observed (by praying, fasting, and donating to the poor) and celebrated (with gifts and feasts). Photographs of an array of Muslim girls and boys shown praying, reading the Koran, and enjoying traditional desserts depict a humanity that contrasts with prevalent media images of Muslims. Setting simple sentences against bright backgrounds, the book offers young readers a straightforward, if somewhat spare, explanation of Ramadan, which is bolstered by the many clear, colorful photographs that highlight cultural details. Muslim families will appreciate the familiarity of scenes depicted in its pages, while non-Muslims will be interested in the similarities and differences between Ramadan and their own traditions. Back matter includes a picture glossary, a brief list of resources, and an index. These features add a pedagogical component that many teachers will find useful.