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Ramadan, the holy month during which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset for 30 days, began March 22, 2023 this year, and is expected to end April 21 with the holiday of Eid-al-Fitr. During Ramadan, fasts begin with the pre-dawn meal of Suhoor and are broken each day with the post-sunset meal of Iftar. It is a time of togetherness, spirituality and charity. As Ramadan follows the lunar calendar, its dates change every year. One thing that doesn't change, however, is that it's the perfect time to educate kids and create fun traditions to help them enjoy the practice.
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Illustrated books are one of the most popular ways to get kids to learn and be excited about Ramadan (and reading!). It's also a wonderful way to see themselves represented positively in literature. Luckily, there are plenty of fun, memorable and highly-rated books to get kids started.
From the story of a girl wearing hijab on her first day of school and magical tales about the night before Eid to Goodreads Choice Award nominees, we rounded up the best books for kids to read during Ramadan: Rest assured, there's something here for every age. Whether you want to gift a book or read to them after Iftar, these books will have a memorable impact on the kids in your life.
►How to host an Iftar: Everything you need from décor and dishes to invites and drinks
1. "The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family"
A 2019 nominee for Best Picture Books at the Goodreads Choice Awards, "The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family" is written by Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim American Olympic medalist, and social justice activist. It tells the story of one sister's first day of school and her older sister's first day of wearing the hijab as she battles hurtful words and perseveres. With the majority of its 3,000+ Amazon reviews being five stars, you can rest assured this will be a great read.
2. "It's Ramadan, Curious George"
Fans of Curious George will enjoy this Ramadan iteration of the series. It's the first day of Ramadan, and George is celebrating with his friend Kareem and his family. Recommended for ages 2 to 6, "It's Ramadan, Curious George" makes a great gift for kids.
3. "The Gift of Ramadan"
"The Gift of Ramadan" is best for ages 4 to 8. The story introduces a character, Sophia, who wants to fast this Ramadan and explores how she contributes to the holy month. It's written by American Muslim author Rabiah York Lumbard, who currently lives in Qatar.
4. A Ramadan coloring book
This highly-rated Ramadan Coloring Book is interactive for kids and will keep them busy during the holy month. Readers recommend this book for ages seven and older to help keep track of kids who have begun daily prayers.
5. "In My Mosque"
"In My Mosque" explores the importance of a mosque atmosphere for kids during Ramadan. Author M.O Yuksel weaves a tale about how everyone is welcome in mosque spaces, promoting friendship, community and love.
6. "Sadiq and the Ramadan Gift"
"Sadiq and the Ramadan Gift" explores themes of giving back to the community. A group of friends band together to raise money to build a new school for children in Somalia. It's a must-read for the kids in your family.
7. "My First Book About Prophet Muhammad: Teachings for Toddlers and Young Children"
In this book, young children will learn about a revered Prophet's character. The carefully written text is simple, easy to understand and suitable to be read aloud. It features facts about the Prophet Muhammad and common questions children might ask.
8. "Halal Hot Dogs"
"Halal Hot Dogs" explores themes of food, faith and family. Musa is on a hunt to find his favorite treat to eat after Jummah (Friday prayers). Will he ever find it?
9. "Lailah's Lunchbox"
"Lailah's Lunchbox" sees Lailah navigating fasting for the first time in a new school in a new country, far from her home in Abu Dhabi. It's a touching story kids will love. Consider this book for ages 5 to 8.
10. "Planet Omar: Unexpected Super Spy"
In "Planet Omar: Unexpected Super Spy", we explore a British-Pakistani family. Omar raises money for a new roof for the local mosque but someone steals it and Omar will need to put his spy skills to use. This is a fun read for ages 7 to 10.
11. "Adam's First Fast: A Children's Book About Ramadan and Zakat"
Is your child fasting for the first time this Ramadan? Read "Adam's First Fast: A Children's Book About Ramadan and Zakat" with them. Written by Amaan Ishaq, this picture book explores why Muslims fast during Ramadan in a fun and relatable way.
12. "The Night Before Eid: A Muslim Family Story"
Celebrate the end of Ramadan with this Muslim family story about faith, history and delicious foods. Written by Aya Khalil, "The Night Before Eid: A Muslim Family Story" centers on a young boy named Zain who explores his Egyptian family history.
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Ramadan 2023: 12 enlightening Ramadan books for kids