Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story

Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story

Hena Kahn
Illustrator:  Julie Paschkis 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Chronicle Books, 2008   ISBN: 978-0811860628

One night Yasmeen's mother comes to read her daughter her bedtime story and she points out that there is a new moon. Yasmeen's mother explains that the new moon on this night is special because it "means a new month is beginning." Even though it is the middle of the month in the western calendar, in the Islamic calendar the crescent moon signifies that it is the beginning of a new month. Best of all this particular new moon tells Muslims that it is the beginning of Ramadan.

During Ramadan Muslims who are old enough fast from sunrise to sunset. They only eat or drink before the sun comes up and after it goes down. Though Yasmeen is too young to fast she helps her mother prepare the special Ramadan foods that are eaten at the end of the day.

On the weekend Yasmeen's family goes to her cousin's house for a big feast and the following week the family work together to cook a meal that they take to the mosque. This food is given to those who are less fortunate, and in giving to others Yasmeen is reminded that she is very lucky to have enough to eat all the time.

With every passing day Yasmeen looks up at the moon and she watches it waxing, and then waning again. The Night of the Moon approaches.

This charming picture book will show children what takes place during the month of Ramadan. Through the eyes of Yasmeen we come to appreciate how special this time of year is for Muslims all over the world. Beautifully decorated borders and panels serve as a fitting background for the colorful illustrations.